Vote No on Issue 1
By: Matthew Tippit, Policy Associate | July 20, 2023
In an interesting turn of events, Ohioans will have an August special election this year, which might technically be illegal despite a split Ohio Supreme Court Decision allowing the election to proceed. But since the election is taking place on August 8, I wanted to break down the only issue on the ballot and why CDF-Ohio is advocating for a no-vote.
Issue 1 is the ballot initiative on the table, and in the plainest explanation possible, if passed, it will make it harder for Ohio citizens to make changes to Ohio law. It does this by raising the threshold for citizen-led ballot initiatives from 50%+1 to 60%, changing the petition collection process and removing a secondary petition collection period that goes into effect if there are issues with the original signatures.
I’ve spoken in the past about how this is wholly unnecessary because citizen-led initiatives rarely make the ballot, and when they do, they often fail. On top of being unnecessary, Issue 1 is also unfair as it seeks to enshrine minority rule into Ohio law by increasing the required percentage to 60% and making it so that petitions would now need to be collected from all 88 counties instead of 44. This means that 41% of Ohioans could overrule the other 59% and a single Ohio county even could stop the other 87 from getting what they want.
To make matters worse, even beyond what I have already demonstrated, I also have to add that the process for this Issue reaching the ballot box was unfair to begin with. Before it was Issue 1, these proposals were two companion bills being heard at the Ohio Statehouse, House Joint Resolution 1 (HJR1) and Senate Joint Resolution 2 (HJR 2), introduced by State Rep. Brian Stewart, and Senators Theresa Gavarone and Rob McColley, respectively. During their last hearing in the committee process, dozens of people waiting to testify were cut off by the Chairman of the committee as they moved to end discussion on the bill.
All of this makes it crystal clear: An unfair process to produce an unfair Issue that would enshrine unfairness and minority rule into Ohio law demands we all must vote no in this election. And urge everyone we know to do the same.
Voting no on Issue 1 will protect the citizen-led ballot process that has existed in Ohio for more than 100 years. Voting no ensures that when the time comes Ohioans can have their voice heard at the ballot box. Voting no makes sure that a minority of Ohioans won’t be empowered to disenfranchise and control the lives of the majority of the state.
It’s time to get out and vote no:
- Early voting has already begun, so if you’re a registered voter and you want to take advantage of early voting you can check for times and locations here on the Security of State website.
- If you would prefer, you can request and absentee ballot here.
- And if you prefer voting on the day of the election, you can click here to find your polling location for August 8th.
No matter how you prefer to vote please make sure to make your voice heard. This election is about more than just this year or this single issue. This election has the potential to irreversibly change Ohio in ways that are still unseen so we must do what we can now to protect our future and the future of voting rights and people power for generations to come.