CV NEWS FEED // Ohio is holding a special election on August 8th to change the voting threshold for constitutional amendments to a 60/40 vote.
Many people have heard about this amendment in regards to abortion issues, but by itself, Issue 1 does not mention abortion.
Issue 1 is a constitutional amendment about constitutional amendments. It serves to change the requirements in Ohio to pass an initiated constitutional amendment.
Out of all 50 states, only eighteen allow what are called “initiated constitutional amendments.” These citizen-initiated amendments must have a certain amount of signatures on a petition from registered voters to make it to the ballot box.
In Ohio, “the number of signatures required for an initiated constitutional amendment is equal to 10% of the votes cast in the last gubernatorial election.” Currently, these signatures must be from 44 of the 88 counties in Ohio.
The ‘Issue 1’ amendment seeks to require “at least five percent of the electors of each county based on the total vote in the county for governor in the last preceding election.” Framers intend to make sure each county has a voice in constitutional amendments, instead of allowing heavily populated areas to control the ballot.
Finally, the amendment seeks to raise the voting threshold to a 60/40 majority vote instead of a simple majority that the state currently requires.
Raising this threshold does not take away the idea of “one person, one vote,” as some campaigns claim it does. Each person’s voice is still heard, however a vast majority must be in agreement to pass a constitutional amendment.
This is consistent with the way that the federal government amends the Constitution of the United States:
For an amendment to be made to the national constitution, two-thirds of both the House of Representatives and the Senate must support the amendment or two-thirds of the states shall call a convention for the proposed amendment. Once one of those two things happen, three-fourths of the state legislatures must ratify the amendment as well. Only then is the amendment officially ratified as part of the constitution.
This amendment is urgently necessary because “the Ohio Constitution is too easy to amend,” wrote CatholicVote Field Director Tommy Valentine. “It allows well-funded outside groups to dump tens of millions of dollars into deceptive advertising to get an amendment passed.”
“You’ve probably noticed that the U.S. Constitution fits in your back pocket,” Brian Burch, President of CatholicVote wrote. “I’m not sure the Ohio constitution would fit in Paul Bunyan’s pocket. It’s the size of a phone book. Outside radical interest groups absolutely love how easy it is to radically change Ohio’s constitution.”
“If Issue 1 doesn’t pass, it could be the size of a stack of phone books,” Mercer added.
“The constitution should be simple. It is meant to be a contract that holds the people together despite our differences,” said CatholicVote associate editor Erika Ahern.