Ohio advocates against Issue 1 confident measure will fail in August 8 election

By: - June 12, 2023 4:45 am

Voters casting ballots. | Mario Tama/Getty Images

Two months from the August special election, advocates against the proposal to make it more difficult to amend the Ohio Constitution feel confident Issue 1 will fail.

All around Ohio, petitioners are asking for signatures to support their cause. Some, like Kyle Marcum with Ohio Citizen Action, go door to door.

“We’re asking you to vote no on Issue One in August to make sure that we’re protecting the will of Ohio voters,” Marcum said.

He is canvassing for the Vote No in August campaign.

On Aug. 8, Ohioans will decide on Issue 1, which would raise the threshold for a constitutional amendment to pass from a simple majority, or 50% plus one, to 60%.

“It’s just absolutely electric, and people are just excited to come out and vote against this,” he added.

His team has knocked on 16,000 doors in less than one month, documenting through video the dozens of people who will now be voting no.

But supporters of Issue 1, like anti-abortion activist Mark Harrington, say the Vote Yes campaign will also be out to spread its message.

“I think the main thing we’ll be doing is registering people to vote and getting congregations involved as well,” Harrington said. “It’s all about turnout.”

Harrington supports making it harder to amend the Constitution because of the several petitions circulating right now — the main being the initiative to legalize abortion.

For Harrington, though, that isn’t it.

“People want to amend it for marijuana legalization and minimum wage,” he said.

Voters have the right to decide those issues, Marcum responded, and allowing for 40% of people to prevent against popular proposals is unfair and a power grab by extremist groups.

“We are committed to making sure that Ohioans are able to have their voice heard,” Marcum said. “This undemocratic attempt to take away the power of Ohio voters will not pass.”

July 10 is the last day to register to vote for the August special election.


The No campaign is significantly more popular than the Yes campaign, causing some Republicans to tell OCJ/WEWS they don’t believe it will pass.

The No campaign has 69 endorsements on its website from groups Ohio Education Association, the Fraternal Order of Police and union organizations such as the American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations (AFL-CIO). The Yes campaign has seven on its website, including an Ohio Right to Life, the Ohio Chamber of Commerce and the Ohio Restaurant Association.

Each side has more support than listed, however. During the hearing process, more than 250 bipartisan and nonpartisan groups opposed Issue 1. If no groups have rescinded approval from the hearings, 14 different groups support Issue 1.


This article was originally published on News5Cleveland.com and is published in the Ohio Capital Journal under a content-sharing agreement. Unlike other OCJ articles, it is not available for free republication by other news outlets as it is owned by WEWS in Cleveland.

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Morgan Trau
Morgan Trau

Morgan Trau is a political reporter and multimedia journalist based out of the WEWS Columbus Bureau. A graduate of Syracuse University’s S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications, Trau has previously worked as an investigative, political and fact-checking reporter in Grand Rapids, Mich. at WZZM-TV; a reporter and MMJ in Spokane, Wash. at KREM-TV and has interned at 60 Minutes and worked for CBS Interactive and PBS NewsHour.