MEDIA BRIEFING: Ohio Issue 1 Election is Just Days Ahead (w/Video Links and Quotes)

COLUMBUS, OH — Democracy experts from Common Cause Ohio held a briefing today on the statewide effort to defeat Issue 1 and the lead-up to the Aug. 8 election. 

If you missed today’s briefing, you can view the recording here.

Issue 1 seeks to raise the threshold to 60% to pass any future changes to the Ohio Constitution. The proposal would also make citizen-led ballot measures almost impossible by raising the signature-gathering requirements and removing the 10-day cure period to gather additional signatures if needed. The controversial ballot initiative is the latest attempt by the state legislature to seize power from Ohioans. Below are several comments made throughout the briefing.

Regarding the threat to direct democracy in Ohio:

“Blocking citizen access to the ballot would remove the last check on our corrupt and extremist legislature,” said Mia Lewis, associate director of Common Cause Ohio.

Regarding efforts across the country to prevent citizen-led initiatives:

“Unfortunately, Ohio isn’t the only state in the country where direct democracy is under attack,” said Catherine Turcer, executive director of Common Cause Ohio.

“Last year, voters in South Dakota and Arkansas rejected similar proposals to require a supermajority to approve changes to their state constitutions. Arizona voters may face a proposal with arduous signature requirements for citizen initiatives in 2024. The common thread among these efforts is that they are a response to voter efforts to address economic justice, democracy, or hot button issues and are a power grab.”

Regarding voter turnout trends in the leadup to the election:
“It’s important to understand, this is entirely a top-down affair. There’s been no groundswell of Ohioans clamoring for fewer rights,” said Lewis.

Regarding Election Protection and what Ohioans who are voting on Election Day can expect:
“Common Cause is dedicated to working with our partners in the Ohio Voting Rights coalition to make sure people have the information they need. We encourage Ohio voters to call the nonpartisan Election Protection Hotline 866-OUR-VOTE if they have questions or concerns. Voters didn’t expect an August election and this is the first time that Ohioans are voting with new rules for voter ID, voting by mail and early vote. As such, our Election Protection program is focused on making sure Ohioans have the facts and are able to successfully cast their ballots,” said Suzanne Almeida, director of state operations at Common Cause.

“We know the temperature around Issue 1 is high, but we currently don’t anticipate problems at the polls. Regardless, the Election Protection Peacekeeper program is going into Aug. 8 centered on reducing any potential tension.”

Since 1912, amendments to the Ohio Constitution have been approved by a simple majority. For more than 110 years, Ohioans have had the right to take proposed amendments to the Ohio Constitution directly to the voters by gathering signatures from voters. For a history of citizen-led amendments since 1950, click here

Voters will have through Aug. 8 to cast a ballot determining whether or not to limit citizens’ access to direct democracy.

Important election dates:

  • Early In-Person Voting: Now – Aug. 6
  • Absentee Voting By Mail: Began July 11
  • Election Day: Aug. 8; polls are open from 6:30 a.m – 7:30 p.m.


Since 1970, Common Cause has been working to hold power accountable through lobbying, litigation, and organizing. Our non-partisan, pro-democracy work has helped pass hundreds of reforms at the federal, state, and local levels. We now have 30 state chapters and more than 1.5 million members around the country who are working to strengthen our democracy.

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