McIntyre v. Ohio Elections Comm'n, 514 U.S. 334, 12 (1995)

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Cite as: 514 U. S. 334 (1995)

Opinion of the Court

'litmus-paper test' that will separate valid from invalid restrictions." Anderson, 460 U. S., at 789, quoting Storer, 415 U. S., at 730. Instead, we pursued an analytical process comparable to that used by courts "in ordinary litigation": We considered the relative interests of the State and the injured voters, and we evaluated the extent to which the State's interests necessitated the contested restrictions. Anderson, 460 U. S., at 789. Applying similar reasoning in this case, the Ohio Supreme Court upheld 3599.09(A) as a "reasonable" and "nondiscriminatory" burden on the rights of voters. 67 Ohio St. 3d, at 396, 618 N. E. 2d, at 155, quoting Anderson, 460 U. S., at 788.

The "ordinary litigation" test does not apply here. Unlike the statutory provisions challenged in Storer and Anderson, 3599.09(A) of the Ohio Code does not control the mechanics of the electoral process. It is a regulation of pure speech. Moreover, even though this provision applies evenhandedly to advocates of differing viewpoints,8 it is a direct regulation of the content of speech. Every written document covered by the statute must contain "the name and residence or business address of the chairman, treasurer, or secretary of the organization issuing the same, or the person who issues, makes, or is responsible therefor." Ohio Rev. Code Ann. 3599.09(A) (1988). Furthermore, the category of covered documents is defined by their content—only those publications containing speech designed to influence the voters in an election need bear the required markings.9 Ibid. Consequently, we are not faced with an ordinary election restric-8 Arguably, the disclosure requirement places a more significant burden on advocates of unpopular causes than on defenders of the status quo. For purposes of our analysis, however, we assume the statute evenhandedly burdens all speakers who have a legitimate interest in remaining anonymous.

9 Covered documents are those "designed to promote the nomination or election or defeat of a candidate, or to promote the adoption or defeat of any issue, or to influence the voters in any election . . . ." 3599.09(A).


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