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Confused about the August election?

Dear Editor:

For 111 years, ordinary citizens have been able to work to amend our constitution in Ohio by ballot initiatives. That means getting enough signatures for an issue to be put on a ballot so all the voters in the state can choose to accept or reject it. Issue 1, on the ballot in August, would dramatically reduce your ability to amend the constitution if passed. Here’s how:

1. To get an issue on the ballot, you currently must secure signatures of 5% of the people who voted in the last governor’s election out of 44 counties. If Issue 1 is passed, that will change to all 88 counties. If one county doesn’t get enough signatures, you guessed it, it won’t make it on the ballot.

2. Presently, when an issue makes it to the ballot, it passes or fails with majority rule – 50% plus one vote. If Issue 1 is passed, that will change that to 60%. The Legislature put this special election on the ballot with a simple majority rule vote. They don’t require 60% to pass anything. Did you grow up learning that the majority rules?

Former Republican Governors Bob Taft and John Kasich, and former Democratic Governors Dick Celeste and Ted Strickland, described the plan as unfair to Ohioans. Gov. Taft said, “For more than 100 years, amendments to the Ohio Constitution have been decided by a simple majority vote. The decision to change such a deeply embedded practice should not be made at a low turnout election.”

Please join them and us in voting NO on August 8 to KEEP the rights we have had for 111 years.

Eileen and Steve Litchfield,


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