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2023 Issue 1-Yes NO!! Maybe So . . .
August 2, 2023   |   2023 tax year, Editorial, Legislative Update, Ohio

On August 8, 2023 Ohio will have a special election for Issue One which addresses Ohio Constitutional Amendment Procedure.

Under current Ohio law, Ohio citizens can petition for an Ohio Constitution amendment. Amendments are adopted if:

1. if the Secretary of State receives the proposed amendment with 1,000 verified signatures from Ohio citizens qualified to vote (ballot requirements)

2. if the amendment receives a majority vote (51 percent) in a statewide election.

Issue One asks two questions:

Do we want to modify the citizen proposal process from 1,000 signatures to signatures from 5% of each county based on the preceding vote for govenor?

Do we want to modify the voting passage threshold for an Ohio Constitutional Amendment from a simple majority (51% ) to a 60% majority?

Issues/food for thought:

How “EASY” should it be to amend the Ohio Constitution?

Has Ohio changed so much that we need to add “rights” to the Ohio Constitution?

Would a higher majority percentage requirement make it harder for fraud to affect election results?

Three other states require a super majority to pass a State Constitutional Amendment: New Hampshire (2/3rds), Florida (3/5ths) Colorado (55% for most).

There will be a second election asking voters to add abortion rights to the Ohio Constitution. Does this change your answers to the questions above?

Ballot text follows :

Issue 1—Proposed Constitutional amendment-Elevating the standards to qualify for an initiated (Citizen applies for ) constitutional amendment and to pass a constitution amendment. Proposed

by joint resolution of the General Assembly. To amend Sections 1b,1e, and 1g of theArticle II and Sections 1 and 3 of Article XVI of the Constitution of the State of Ohio.

A Majority Yes vote is necessary for the amendment to pass.

The Proposed amendment would:

• Require that any proposed amendment to the Constitution of the State of Ohio receive the approval of at least 60 percent of eligible voters voting on the proposed


• Require that any initiative [Citizen filed] petition filed on or after January 1,2024 with the secretary of state proposing to amend the Constitution of the state of

Ohio be signed by at least 5% of the electors of each county based on the total vote in the county for governor in the last preceding election.

• Specify that additional signatures may not be added to an initiative petition proposing to amend the constitution of the state of Ohio that is filed with the Secretary

of state on or after January 1, 2024 proposing to amend the Constitution of the State of Ohio. [ author’s note: no additional signatures to be added after petition is filed with Secretary of

State—either proposed amendment meets the requirements when its filed or it don’t. Limits fraud]

If passed the amendment will be effective immediately. Shall the amendment be approved yes or no.

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