Let’s Talk About Ohio Issue One

Let’s Talk About Ohio Issue One August 7, 2023

the Ohio statehouse
image via Pixabay

Let’s talk about Ohio Issue One.

Tomorrow, Ohioans are going to vote on a single issue. It looks very strange on the ballot and it’s worded deceptively, so I want to say a few things about it. Proponents of Issue One claim they’re trying to “protect the constitution from outside interests,” and you need to understand that that’s the opposite of what they’re doing. They’re trying to protect the constitution from you and me, the actual citizens of Ohio, at the behest of outside interests, and we have to stop them.

Currently, in order to pass a constitutional amendment in the state of Ohio, there are two steps. First, you need a petition with signatures from 44 of Ohio’s 88 counties. If any signatures are deemed invalid, the petitioners have 10 days to get additional signatures. If enough signatures are presented, the proposed amendment goes to the ballot for all Ohioans to vote on in the November election. In that vote, a majority of 50% plus one wins. If there are a million no’s and a million and one yeses, the yeses win. It’s that simple.

If Issue One passes, then the state will require signatures from ALL of Ohio’s 88 counties for a proposed amendment to even get on the ballot. All. That means that the crabby conservatives here in Jefferson County could take away the say of voters in every other county in Ohio, and the hoity toity liberals in Franklin County could do the same to everyone on another petition. A tiny minority could hold the whole state hostage. And there’s no cure period whatsoever for invalid signatures.

And then, if anything gets on the ballot at all, it would take a majority of 60% of votes in the November election to pass. If 55% of Ohioans say “yes” to an amendment and 45% say “no,” the minority wins.

“Democracy” means “government by the people.” We’re all meant to have a say in how the state is run. But if Issue One passes, a minority will always overrule the majority of Ohioans in amending the Ohio constitution.

Due to Ohio’s extreme gerrymandering, it’s already hard enough for the people to have a say, most of the time. But we can still amend our constitution. Issue One will take that away and strand us in a state ruled by a minority of crackpots every time. The proponents of Issue One claim they’re trying to “save our constitution” but what they’re actually doing is trying to make sure the citizens of Ohio cant’ determine what our constitution ought to say.

And they’re not doing it because it’s what the people in Ohio want.

The proponents of Issue One are trying to get you to believe that they’re protecting Ohio’s constitution from “outside interests,” which is pretty rich considering that Issue One is being pushed by a Florida group bankrolled by an Illinois billionaire. They are the outside interest. They don’t have to live here. They’re not the ones who will lose their power to change the state they live in.

Democracy is a good thing, and Ohio doesn’t have much of a democracy anymore. If Issue One passes, we’ll have none at all. In my opinion, that is why the out of state billionaires are donating so much to pass it– they want an oligarchy, not a democracy.

I am grateful for the hundreds of thousands of Ohioans who have already voted early. The vote on Issue One was expected to be sparsely attended because of its weird timing. That’s what the out of state billionaires were counting on, but so far we’re doing well. I want to ask all of my readers who are registered voters in Ohio to get to the polls tomorrow, August 8th, and vote NO. Don’t let the propaganda deceive you. A “yes” won’t protect the constitution. A “yes” will create an oligarchy.

We only have one chance before we lose what’s left of our democracy. Vote No on Issue One. I’m counting on you.





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