LMM Opposes State Issue 1
July 20, 2023
On August 8th, State Issue 1 will be on the Ohio ballot. If passed, Issue 1 would make it more difficult for citizens to amend the Ohio Constitution. LMM is concerned about the impact this issue, if passed, would have on the people LMM serves and employs.
Issue 1 would impact amending the Ohio Constitution in three ways. First, it would increase the approval threshold for proposed amendments to 60% of the vote, instead of the simple 50% + 1 majority that is required now. Second, it would require signatures for proposed amendments to be gathered from all 88 of Ohio’s counties, rather than 44 which is the current requirement. Finally, once petitioners have submitted their signatures to the Ohio Secretary of State’s office, they would no longer have ten extra days to gather additional valid signatures if some of the originally submitted signatures were deemed invalid.
We believe the changes Issue 1 would make to the citizen amendment process are undemocratic and create a system of minority rule. By creating stricter requirements for gathering signatures and requiring a supermajority for proposed amendments to pass, it would be nearly impossible for any citizen-initiated amendments to advance. These changes are unnecessary, as it is already extremely difficult to amend the Ohio Constitution: since 1912, only 19 amendments out of 71 proposed have been approved by voters; a passage rate of just 26 percent. Issue 1 would only further silence Ohio voters.
Issue 1 was created in reaction to a proposed abortion rights amendment. But if passed, its impact would be wide-reaching and would slowly chip away at democracy in Ohio. This would further disenfranchise voters and make it harder for Ohio residents to engage civically. Many of the people LMM serves already face barriers to civic engagement because of housing insecurity or previous justice involvement. Making it harder for citizens to amend the constitution will further discourage civic participation and strip away our program participants’ and staff partners’ power as voters.
For these reasons, LMM opposes Issue 1 and strongly encourages you to vote NO on August 8th.