All About Issue 1 in August

On August 8, Ohioans will go to the polls to vote on Issue 1 – a constitutional amendment that would make it all but impossible for citizens to put initiatives on the ballot in the future. We strongly urge Ohio voters to turn out to VOTE NO in August.

  • Since 1912, Ohioans have had the right to bring issues to the ballot and have a direct say in our government. But now, those in power and big special interests are attempting to re-write the rules. They want to take away our right to decide what happens in Ohio by making it almost impossible for citizens to bring issues to the ballot, and by allowing just 40% of voters to block what the majority of voters want.
  • For over 100 years, Ohioans have been able to amend the Ohio Constitution with simple majority rule—50% +1. If Issue 1 were to pass, amendments would require 60% +1 to pass. That means 40% of voters could block what the majority want.
  • Right now, citizens trying to put an issue on the ballot have to collect a certain percentage of signatures from 44 counties. Issue 1 would change that to requiring signatures from all 88 counties. In other words, voters in one county could veto what voters in 87 other counties want.
  • Issue 1 is an attempt by powerful legislators to fool voters into giving away their power, so politicians can get what they want, instead of what the people want. Eliminating majority rule would mean that a minority of voters could override the will of the people, and would strengthen the power of the state legislature at the expense of the voters.
  • We all want the freedom to make decisions about important issues that affect our lives. Ballot initiatives allow us to exercise that freedom. This is especially important when the state legislature is not responsive to our concerns.
  • Politicians at the Statehouse say Issue 1 will protect the Ohio Constitution from out-of-state special interests. But the opposite is true: if Issue 1 passes, only special interests with deep pockets will be able to bring issues to the ballot.
  • The vote in August is bigger than any one specific ballot proposal. It isn’t a Republican or Democrat issue. It’s not liberal or conservative. It’s about preserving the right of the people of Ohio to bring issues directly to the ballot and ensure that voters have the ability to make decisions about issues that are important to them.
  • The process to put a citizen-led measure on the ballot in Ohio is already hard, and it is not overused. It’s even harder to convince voters to support a measure. As voters, we should reject anything that restricts our rights and freedoms.
  • Ask yourself, why would someone want to limit the public’s ability to make decisions? Why would politicians elected with simple majorities want to make it harder for their constituents to determine the direction of the state? The ability for citizens to put issues before the voters was established as a check on the state legislature. Are our legislative leaders afraid of voters?
  • We trust Ohio voters more than politicians and special interests who are trying to limit our rights and freedom. Issue 1 is nothing more than an attempt by some politicians and special interests to re-write the rules to get what they want and silence voters.

Don’t be fooled into giving away your rights and power – vote against Issue 1!

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Paid for by Common Cause Ohio