UNITED STATES NEWS

Ohio board approves August ballot question meant to thwart abortion rights push

May 18, 2023, 8:57 AM | Updated: 9:46 am

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — A ballot question seeking to make it more difficult to amend the Ohio Constitution was cleared for an August ballot on Thursday, and teams of Republican and Democratic lawmakers assigned to write pro and con arguments, respectively, to be presented to voters.

The process before the Ohio Ballot Board followed the enacted in 2019 is argued.

On this August’s ballot, voters will be asked whether or not they support raising the threshold for passing future constitutional amendments from the simple majority Ohio has had in place since 1912 to a 60% supermajority. As a constitutional amendment itself, the 60% question will only need to pass by a simple majority of 50%-plus-one.

The bipartisan panel, chaired by Republican Ohio Secretary of State Frank LaRose, voted along party lines to certify the ballot language, which Democrats attacked as unfair and inaccurate. The arguments that voters see on their ballots are due to LaRose’s office by Monday.

Issue 1’s Republican backers are expected to characterize the effort as a constitutional protection act aimed at keeping deep-pocketed special interests out of Ohio’s foundational documents. Among groups supporting the higher bar are anti-abortion, pro-gun rights and business groups opposed to a burgeoning amendment that would raise Ohio’s minimum wage.

Democrats will use their arguments to paint the 60% threshold as an assault on Ohio’s long history of direct democracy. Some Democratic lawmakers led a “one person, one vote” chant and march after last week’s vote from the floor of the Ohio House — echoing cries of a large crowd of protesters gathered outside.

Should either side object to the others’ phrasing, they could file suit in the Ohio Supreme Court, which holds exclusive power to settle disputes in cases where lawmakers forward an ballot question straight to voters.

Democratic lawyer Don McTigue, representing the One Person One Vote Campaign, disagreed with the title LaRose’s office gave to the issue, which describes it as “elevating the standards” to qualify constitutional amendments of Ohio’s ballot. McTigue suggested “modifying” as more neutral, noting that it’s against Ohio law for ballot language to bias voters in one way or another.

It was too soon to say Thursday whether his client will file a legal challenge, McTigue said.

McTigue and Democrats on the board also argued for including the current 50%-plus-one standard in the ballot language, so that voters know what they’re changing, but the board rejected that idea.

The proposal also calls for doubling the number of Ohio counties — from 44 to all 88 — where backers of future initiative petitions would need to gather signatures in order to qualify for the ballot. As phrased by LaRose’s office, the question also appears to significantly raise the percentage of voters needed in each county, from 5% of those who voted in the last gubernatorial election to 5% of “all eligible voters.”

LaRose said his intention was to keep the ballot language simple, which Democratic state Sen. Bill DeMora said was disingenuous. “It’s sneaky and it’s illegal,” he said.

United States News

Associated Press

Disneyland character and parade performers in California vote to join labor union

ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) — Disneyland performers who help bring Mickey Mouse, Cinderella and other beloved characters to life at the Southern California resort chose to unionize following a three-day vote culminating on Saturday. The Actors’ Equity Association labor union said in a statement Saturday that cast members for the parades and characters departments at Disney’s […]

1 hour ago

Rudy Giuliani...

Associated Press

Rudy Giuliani is the final defendant to serve indictment in Arizona fake elector case

Rudy Giuliani has been served an indictment in Arizona's fake elector case for his role in an attempt to overturn the 2020 election.

3 hours ago

Associated Press

Dive team finds bodies of 2 men dead inside plane found upside down in Alaska lake

ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — The bodies of two men have been recovered from a plane that was found face down in a lake, Alaska State Troopers said Saturday. Troopers were notified late Friday of the upside-down aircraft in Six Mile Lake near the Athabascan community of Nondalton, located about 200 miles (322 kilometers) southwest of […]

5 hours ago

Associated Press

6 people killed, 10 others injured in Idaho when pickup crashes into passenger van

IDAHO FALLS, Idaho (AP) — Six people were killed Saturday in Idaho in a two-car accident that included a large passenger van, authorities said. Ten others were injured in the crash on U.S. Highway 20 in Idaho Falls and taken to local hospitals, Idaho State Police said in a statement. An eastbound pickup crossed the […]

8 hours ago

Rudy Giuliani bankruptcy filing defamation lawsuit...

KTAR.com

Rudy Giuliani served Arizona indictment in alleged scheme to overturn 2020 presidential election results

Attorney Rudy Giuliani was served notice on Friday of his Arizona indictment in the alleged scheme to overturn 2020 presidential election results in former President Donald Trump's favor, according to Kris Mayes, the state's attorney general.

14 hours ago

Associated Press

6 Penn students among 19 pro-Palestinian protesters arrested during attempt to occupy building

PHILADELPHIA (AP) — A half-dozen University of Pennsylvania students were among 19 pro-Palestinian protesters arrested during an attempt to occupy a school building, university police said Saturday. Their arrests came a week after authorities broke up a protest encampment on campus and arrested nine students — and as other colleges across the country, anxious to […]

16 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

...

Condor Airlines

Condor Airlines can get you smoothly from Phoenix to Frankfurt on new A330-900neo airplane

Adventure Awaits! And there's no better way to experience the vacation of your dreams than traveling with Condor Airlines.

...

DESERT INSTITUTE FOR SPINE CARE

Desert Institute for Spine Care is the place for weekend warriors to fix their back pain

Spring has sprung and nothing is better than March in Arizona. The temperatures are perfect and with the beautiful weather, Arizona has become a hotbed for hikers, runners, golfers, pickleball players and all types of weekend warriors.

...

Collins Comfort Masters

Here’s 1 way to ensure your family is drinking safe water

Water is maybe one of the most important resources in our lives, and especially if you have kids, you want them to have access to safe water.

Ohio board approves August ballot question meant to thwart abortion rights push