The Rundown

Voter deadlines approaching for Ohio’s August special election

By: - June 21, 2023 4:55 am
People enter a voting precinct to vote in the Michigan primary election at Trombly School Aug. 7, 2018 in Grosse Pointe Park, Michigan. (Photo by Bill Pugliano/Getty Images)

People enter a voting precinct to vote in the Michigan primary election at Trombly School Aug. 7, 2018 in Grosse Pointe Park, Michigan. (Photo by Bill Pugliano/Getty Images)

Deadlines are coming up quick for Ohio voters participating in the Aug. 8 special election over State Issue 1, which seeks to make it harder for voters to amend the Ohio Constitution by raising the threshold from 50% to 60%, and increases the number of counties ballot signatures for citizen initiatives must be collected, from 44 to 88.

Here are some important dates to keep in mind:

  • July 10: Voter registration deadline for the Aug. 8 primary
  • July 11: First day of early in-person voting
  • July 15: Certification for independent candidates
  • Aug. 1: Absentee ballot applications must be turned in
  • Aug. 8: Polls are open from 6:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m., and absentee ballots are due by close of polls.

If State Issue 1 passes, its provisions making it harder for voters to bring forward and pass proposed amendments would impact future ballot initiatives, including some that are already in the works, such as the abortion ballot measure, set to go before voters in November, along with initiatives to change marijuana regulation and minimum wage.

Republicans who are in support of Issue 1, including Ohio’s elections chief Secretary of State Frank LaRose, have pointed to the abortion proposal as a main reason they’d like to see the voter threshold amendment pass in August, as it would cause significant challenges for the amendment, for which signature gathering has been well under way.

Critics of Issue 1 have said the measure would roll back more that 112 years of Ohio majority voter powers and give even more power to an already gerrymandered GOP supermajority legislature.

Issue 1 had to get through a few challenges of its own to get to the ballot, with the Ohio Supreme Court giving it the official go ahead just last week, after a lawsuit sought the court’s intervention. This was because Ohio lawmakers passed a law in December outlawing August elections before brining back this August election in defiance of the new law.

The Ohio Supreme Court in a split decision sided with Republican lawmakers, after the court asked that the Ohio Ballot Board rewrite some of the language in the ballot measure, including the title and explanations of the term “electors.”

The ballot board, led by LaRose, did just that on June 14, though the changes were approved on partisan lines.



Our stories may be republished online or in print under Creative Commons license CC BY-NC-ND 4.0. We ask that you edit only for style or to shorten, provide proper attribution and link to our web site. Please see our republishing guidelines for use of photos and graphics.

Susan Tebben
Susan Tebben

Susan Tebben is an award-winning journalist with a decade of experience covering Ohio news, including courts and crime, Appalachian social issues, government, education, diversity and culture. She has worked for The Newark Advocate, The Glasgow (KY) Daily Times, The Athens Messenger, and WOUB Public Media. She has also had work featured on National Public Radio.