Vote NO on Issue 1
To the Editor,
I would like to clarify some misconceptions surrounding Issue 1 that is on the August 8 ballot.
Many are under the impression that, in order to place a citizens initiative on the ballot, 44 counties are “cherry picked” to gather the required signatures, thus giving the larger urban areas the power to dictate to the rest of the state. Not true.
Signatures are gathered from all 88 Ohio counties. A formula based on five percent of the number of votes cast in the prior gubernatorial race determines how many signatures are required by each county. For instance, in the recent petition drive to place an amendment on the November ballot, Darke County needed 989 signatures while Cuyahoga County needed 20,513. With fewer than 20 “large urban” areas in Ohio, this gives quite a bit of power to the rest of the state.
Issue 1 would require all 88 counties to meet the signature requirement. Meaning that if just one – and only one – county does not reach the quota, nothing reaches the ballot. So much for majority rule.
Many also feel that the 44 county requirement does not give everyone a voice. Not true. If a proposed amendment does make the ballot, everyone in all 88 counties can have their voices heard by voting on said issue.
It has also been argued that it should be “harder” to add an amendment to the Ohio constitution, which Issue 1 addresses by raising the threshold from 50% plus 1, to a “super majority” of 60%. In the last 110 years, Ohio citizens have proposed 71 amendments of which only 19 passed with the 50% plus 1. It’s hard enough already.
Ohio is one of only a few states in which citizens are given the privilege to place amendments on the ballot. Save it by voting NO on Issue 1.