Ohioans Weigh In on August Special Election


The following are statements, opinion pieces, testimony, and letter to the editors submitted by Ohioans across the state and compiled by Common Cause Ohio. Hear directly from your neighbors and find inspiration for conversations with your friends and family.

Kayla Griffin
State Director, All Voting is Local

"...we’ll have actively watched... an unraveling of democracy in this state. And we, the people, cannot - and will not - allow that to happen."

Alan Johnson
Former Ohio Journalist, author

"I believe in the sanctity of all life, including opposition to the death penalty. But I also believe in democracy and the value of one person, one vote."

Rev. Tim Ahrens
Sr. Minister at First Congregational Church

"Cynical politicians...are counting on very few people showing up in August so their anti-democratic, anti-American initiative will pass and forever doom any future initiative from coming before the citizens."

Summer McLain
Columbus, OH

"This amendment is bad for EVERYONE, no matter what side of an issue you are on. Passing this will effectively rob Ohioans of our voices when it comes to our constitution. Vote No August 8."

Garrison Bowling
Founder and ED of Ohio Student Activist Alliance

"The August special election is a direct attack on young people. They want it to be difficult for young people to vote and they know that students leave Ohio for the summer."

Amina Barhumi
CAIR-Ohio Executive Director

“We now face a challenging landscape where our voices are being stifled...But we will not be deterred. We will adapt, strategize, and continue the fight for inclusivity and equitable representation.”

Elyn Buscani
Cincinnati, OH

"I'm voting no because the majority party has already shown they are more motivated by their own/donor self-interests than the will of their constituencies on a broad range of issues."

Gene Krebs
former GOP member of the Ohio House

"The GOP should not welcome a campaign where folks are reminded what they have tried to do: take away their voice."

Brad Cotton, MD
Ashville, OH

"These folks have defied the Ohio Supreme Court seven times, now they don’t want to hear from you either."

River Harrod
Director of Youth Affairs at OSAA

"The special election is going to affect the future of young Ohioans the most. The children won't be able to have the same freedoms and rights that we all grew up with and they deserve better than that."

Arthur Lavin, MD
Pediatrician, Chair Doctors Organized for HealthCare Solutions

"The citizen referendum is the jewel of Ohio's democracy. Vote NO on August 8 or forever be silenced."

Melissa Portala
Toledo, OH

"Democracy Matters. Freedom Matters. It's important we Vote No in August to protect both. As a life-long, proud Ohioan I say our Constitutional rights shall not be infringed by the extremist Republican legislature."

Wahinya Njau
Director of Digital Strategy, OSAA

"The OH GOP already gerrymandered themselves into an unearned supermajority. Now, in August, they hope to remove one of the only checks Ohioans possess to actually hold them accountable."

Damon Sherry
VP Queer and Trans Student Union at BGSU

"The sanctity of majority rule is something that has shaped our democracy, to let that die is to let our democracy go with it. We must protect majority rule, protect democracy, and protect Ohio."

Dr. Regina Vincent-Williams
Fremont, OH

"Our current legislators are acting like plantation owners...restricting our right to vote, be schooled, have diversity, speak freely, choose who represents us, or make medical choices."

Mark Hennessey
Pepper Pike, OH

"This GA proposal seeks to insulate politicians from Ohio voters by making it extremely difficult for voters to bypass the GA and adopt laws that most Ohio voters want, but the gerrymandered GA doesn’t."

Aaaron Ansari
Dublin, OH

"I'm against the state using $20M on an unscheduled summer election to make us show up and defend a right Ohioans have had for a hundred years. Government for the people? Not here in Ohio."

Megan Schmidt
Toledo, OH

"The reason I’m voting no in August is pretty simple — if the majority of voters believe a ballot measure should be passed, then it should be passed. This is how democracy is supposed to work."

Marja Lasek-Martin
Ottawa Hills, OH

"This is yet another of many steps taken by the Ohio Republican majority to limit the Ohioan democracy. It is another way to promote the GOP agenda rather than than the interest of the public."

Krista Schneider
Ottawa Hills, OH

"Democracy is the glue that bonds our society together. A minority of voters should not have the power to hold the Ohio Constitution hostage."

Erin Laws
Toledo, OH

"This unwanted and unwarranted election is an attack on democracy. I’m voting NO in August to protect Ohioans."

Nancy Larson
Sylvania, OH

"When the lawmakers ignore what the people want, our only option is to make our own laws. VOTE NO in August to keep our right to have government by the people."

Salvador Pezzino
Toledo, OH

"Don't let special interest groups control Ohio's destiny. This is a direct attack on everything we Ohioans hold in our hearts. They are trying to strip away your rights while increasing control over our lives."

Kristen Geaman
Toledo, OH

"I’m voting “no” because the proposed amendment attempts to enshrine minority rule in Ohio’s constitution and weakens the power of citizens to check our state legislators."

Mike Pellegrino
Retired school administrator - Cleveland, OH

"Don’t be fooled. Corrupt politicians and special interests are trying to trick Ohioans into giving away a right we have had for 100 years: the right of Ohio Citizens to alter or reform our government."

Michael Baron
Cleveland, OH

"Average citizens and not just monied interests should be able to offer changes to the Ohio Constitution in the face of policies they object to. Issue 1 would destroy that option. Vote no on August 8."

Emilie Gottsegen
Chagrin Falls, OH

"I am voting NO on August 8th as a rebuke to the extremist Ohio Legislators who are ignoring the Ohio voters they represent and to uphold the integrity of the Democratic values and processes we hold dear."

Michael McGervey
Avon Lake, OH

“We cannot let them trick us into limiting our own rights and voting power. They know what this issue is really about but they’ll lie to your face as if they don’t. Vote No on August 8 to show them they can’t fool you.”

Beka Lindeman
Piqua, OH

"August 8 is a blatant grab for more power— from a legislature that has repeatedly shown it has no interest in its constituents. This is one more way to ignore the citizens of Ohio."

Andrew J. DiLiddo, Jr
Canton, OH

"The August 8th Primary Election will confuse citizens and further erode their confidence in our elections and by extension, our democracy."

Mary Woods
Columbus, OH

"I am voting "No" in August because in a democracy majority rules. All voices matter and should be counted equally."

Bruce Gerencser
Ney, OH

"We must stop Republicans from advancing their culture war agenda; to stop their assault on issues such as reproductive rights and same-sex marriage."

Lee Brooker
Kent, OH

"A certain type of elected official, in the corrupt & increasingly dangerous majority in the Ohio General Assembly, doesn't like citizens doing direct democracy; all the more reason to make sure we still can."

Will Ford
Chemist in Cleveland, OH

"Ohioans have been able to amend their state constitution by a simple majority for over 100 years. Issue 1 would gut that right by requiring 60%. That's MINORITY rule."

If you’d like to contribute to this space, please send your name, city/town, title (if representing an organization), picture and one sentence on how you feel about the August election to Kelly Dufour at kdufour@commoncause.org. If you have a letter to the editor or opinion piece to link, please also provide the link and we’ll be happy to share.