Answering questions about Ohio’s Issue 1 on the ballot August 8
The Ohio burgee. Getty images.
Ohio Capital Journal/WEWS viewers and readers have sent in dozens of questions about Issue 1 — the GOP proposal to make it more difficult to amend the Ohio Constitution ahead of the likely abortion legalization vote.
This is a complicated situation, so OCJ/WEWS posted a request for additional viewer questions on the station’s social media pages and brought them Statehouse leaders.
On August 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%.
Q: Why haven’t I seen anything about this? Asked by Stephen from Cleveland
If you haven’t seen all of the news stories, you’re about to see a lot more about Issue 1 on television. The One Person One Vote campaign released its first statewide TV ad Tuesday morning.
“A constitutional amendment this August called Issue 1 would permanently remove our rights from the Ohio constitution,” the ad declares. “Issue 1 ends majority rule in Ohio, undermining the sacred principle of One Person, One Vote — shredding the idea that we, the people, decide happens here, handing corrupt politicians and special interests more control.”
The Vote Yes campaign also sent an update Tuesday on how its canvassing is going.
“Our presence in all 88 Ohio counties grows stronger on a daily basis, including new endorsements, door-2-door canvassing, parades, festivals and phone banking,” the email from the Yes campaign said.
Each team is out in the community, so viewers will probably see them petitioning across Ohio all summer.
Q: Is this election specifically related to abortion in November? Asked by Amanda from Cleveland
“It’s 100% about keeping a radical pro-abortion amendment out of our constitution,” Sec. of State Frank LaRose said in raw video obtained by OCJ/WEWS.
OCJ/WEWS broke the story that after months of denial, LaRose finally admitted that the August special election was about abortion. Raising the threshold to 60% would make it harder for abortion access to become legally protected in the state constitution.
Q: If this doesn’t pass, is there any way down the road it can be challenged again? Asked by Bernadette on Twitter
Yes, even if it fails, lawmakers can put it forward again. But, Senate President Matt Huffman says that is unlikely to happen.
“No, no, I wouldn’t do that,” he said in May.
Huffman explained that if Issue 1 fails and abortion passes — passing issue 1 after the November vote would make abortion harder to repeal.
“That’s part of the problem with the 60%; there are bad things in our Constitution now,” he said. “Once this goes to 60%, those bad things are… permanently ensconced in our Constitution.”
Q: Other than abortion, what could issue 1 impact? Asked by WEWS anchor DaLaun Dillard
Issue 1 would impact every citizen-proposed constitutional amendment. There is an effort now to raise the minimum wage, and there is another in the works to put forward redistricting reform to prevent gerrymandering. If Issue 1 passes, both of those would need 60%, instead of 50% to pass.
State Issue 1 would also impact the state’s ability to pass bond issues, and any other issues that citizen groups might try to bring to voters for constitutional consideration.
State Issue 1 would also raise the requirements for gathering signatures from the current 44 counties, to all 88 Ohio counties. Furthermore, it would eliminate a period under the current process where petitioners can make corrections to signature entries. In these ways, State Issue 1 would make it significantly harder for citizen groups to get proposals on the ballot in the first place.
Q: What should viewers do to prepare for this August 8 election? Asked by WEWS anchor Courtney Gousman
If an Ohioan isn’t already registered to vote, that deadline is July 10. Early voting begins July 11. A voter’s local board of elections will also have more information, such as where the voting location will be if one chooses to vote in person in August.
Vote no: keep the 50% threshold.
Vote yes: raise the threshold to 60%.
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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