For ages, Ohio has dealt with the problem of left-wing interests using a very loose ballot measure process to push policy that the Republican-controlled legislature rejected. A situation that would change if voters approve Ballot Issue 1 through an August 8 special election. 

Under current law, anyone can circulate petitions to put a constitutional amendment on the ballot, which can be approved with just 50% of the vote in one general election. This is an extremely low threshold to clear to change the constitution compared to other states. It means Ohio taxpayers and voters are never safe from radical left-wing policy, even when they elect Republican supermajorities to the legislature, a Republican governor, and Republican constitutional officers. 

Ballot Issue 1 would shift the requirements for a state constitutional amendment to be approved from a simple majority popular vote of 50% plus one, to 60%. This would bring Ohio closer in line with the rest of the nation, putting an end to the state’s problematic and lax process for proposed amendments.

Despite what partisan critics to this initiative may claim, the change would still permit Ohioans to propose constitutional amendments – a liberty which is not granted to the residents of 32 of the union’s 49 other states.

The only tangible effect that this change would have is that it will greatly hinder the ability of large out of interests to successfully fund and pass radical left wing amendments, like a $15 minimum wage. The increasing of the vote threshold would require that constitutional amendments receive broad approval from Ohioans. Amendments would likely be more sensible and bipartisan moving forward, and Ohioans could be assured that a more appropriate supermajority of voters have approved any changes to the constitution. 

The ballot question has received the support of Governor DeWine, Secretary of State Frank LaRose, Senate President Matt Huffman, and many others. 

Issue 1’s critics argue that the proposal is undemocratic and that the provisions made regarding the signature-gathering process are too harsh. The proposal would make it so – starting next year – Ohioans seeking to propose an amendment would need signatures from at least 5% of voters from the last gubernatorial election in all of the state’s 88 counties. For reference, the current signature gathering process only requires that those seeking to propose an amendment receive signatures from at least 5% of the voters from the last gubernatorial election in just 44 of the state’s countries. 

Ballot Issue 1 is an overdue protection for taxpayers that would ensure proposed constitutional amendments receive broad approval from Ohioans.