The Office of Civic Engagement (OCE) encourages active citizenship and advocates that ALL elections matter. Opportunities to get involved civically are numerous, but a unique opportunity for all Ohio residents to see democracy in action has presented itself for the Special Election on August 8, 2023.
While our Office has a strict commitment to non-partisanship, and we refrain from endorsing candidates or taking stands on any issues, we see the Ohio Issue 1 Constitutional Amendment Measure as an educational opportunity for our students, offering opportunities for civic involvement with either side of this potential constitutional amendment initiative.
To raise student awareness, the Office of Civic Engagement is providing information about what Issue 1 is, why all Ohio Citizens should be aware of it, what organizations are supporting and opposing Issue 1, what a vote “Yes” or a vote “No” means, and how Issue 1 compares to other state constitutional amendment processes.
What is Issue 1? What would it do?
This Ohio Constitutional Amendment Measure is an Ohio Legislative initiative that could amend the Ohio Constitution:
- The amendment would require a 60% majority from voters to approve an amendment to the constitution versus the 50% + 1 simple majority Ohio requires now from voters to approve a constitutional amendment.
- If passed, the 60% majority from voters to approve an Ohio Constitutional Amendment would go into effect immediately.
- Currently, initiative petitions proposing a constitutional amendment require signatures of at least 5% of the previous governor’s vote from 44 out of Ohio’s 88 counties, as well as requiring signatures from 10% of the last governor’s vote statewide. This amendment would double the geographic signature collection requirements to all 88 counties.
- If passed, any initiative petition filed on or after January 1, 2024, with the Secretary of State proposing to amend the Ohio Constitution would need to meet the new signature requirement that includes all 88 counties.
- The current process gives initiative petitioners 10 days to obtain additional signatures if an insufficient number of signatures was initially submitted. This amendment would remove the 10-day window for petitioners to gather additional signatures.
Ohio Issue 1 At A Glance
50% +1 simple majority to pass an amendment to Ohio Constitution
60% majority to pass an amendment to Ohio Constitution - Effective Immediately
Require signatures of at least 5% of the previous governor’s vote from 44 Ohio counties
Require signatures of at least 5% of the previous governor’s vote from all 88 of Ohio’s counties - Effective on January 1, 2024, and after
10-day grace period for insufficient signatures
Remove the 10-day grace period for insufficient signatures
What a YES or NO Vote Means
A “YES” vote supports requiring a 60% majority of voters to approve a constitutional amendment.
A “NO” vote opposes requiring a 60% majority of voters to approve a constitutional amendment.
About the August 8, 2023, Special Election
- The voter Registration Date Deadline is July 10, 2023
- Absentee (vote-by-mail) Voting is open starting July 11, 2023
Supporters for this Ballot Measure
Protect Our Constitution is leading the campaign in support of Ohio Issue 1. Protect Our Constitution. Protect Our Freedoms. Protect Ohio. The Ohio Constitution is our most important document that protects the rights of all Ohioans. As responsible citizens, THE VOTERS must raise the bar for amending it and make sure that any future amendments are supported by more than just a simple majority. Visit them here: https://www.voteyesohio.com/.
Supporting organizations include the National Federation of Independent Businesses in Ohio, Ohio Chamber of Commerce, Ohio Farm Bureau, Ohio Hotel & Lodging Association, Ohio Restaurant Association, and Ohio Right to Life.
Opponents of this Ballot Measure
One Person One Vote committee is leading the campaign in opposition of Ohio Issue 1. The Vote No in August campaign is a citizen-driven, grassroots, non-partisan coalition representing millions of Ohio voters that have come together to protect the sacred principle of one person one vote, and preserve majority rule in Ohio. Visit them here: https://votenoinaugust.org/.
Opposing organizations include the ACLU of Ohio, Children's Defense Fund Ohio, League of Women Voters of Ohio, Ohio Women's Alliance Action Fund, Planned Parenthood Advocates of Ohio, Sierra Club.
Did you know?
- Ohioans have used ballot measures in the past to enact environmental protections and economic development initiatives.
- Possible upcoming ballot measures around increasing the minimum wage and reproductive rights could be on the November ballot.
- Ohioans voted in 1912 to approve citizen-initiated constitutional amendment processes.
- Since 1912, the overall passage rate of constitutional amendments in Ohio is 27% (19 of 71).
- According to Ballotpedia, between 1985 and 2022, in Ohio the following occurred:
- A total of 65 measures appeared on statewide ballots.
- The number of measures appearing on statewide ballots ranged from zero to five.
- Voters approved 61.54% (40 of 65) and rejected 38.46 % (25 of 65) of the statewide ballot measures.
- 38 states require a simple majority vote (50% + 1) for a proposed constitutional amendment to pass.
- 2 states require a 60% majority to approve a proposed constitutional amendment.
- 1 state requires a 55% majority to approve a proposed constitutional amendment.
- 11 states require voters to approve a proposed constitutional amendment by more than a simple majority or by a rule that combines different criteria.
- 1 state does not require voter approval of a proposed constitutional amendment.
Non-Partisan Resources on Ohio Issue 1
- Ballotpedia: Ohio Issue 1, 60% Vote Requirement to Approve Constitutional Amendments Measure (2023)
- Ohio Secretary of State: Legislation and Ballot Issues
Be Sure to Know about New Ohio Voting Laws
House Bill 458 has impacted what VOTER IDs are permitted to use to cast a ballot and vote-by-mail processing. Click here, to learn more.
- There is No longer Monday In-Person Early Voting
- Absentee Ballots now must be requested by 7 days before Election Day
- Absentee Ballots must be received 4 days post-Election Day
- Provisional ballots need to be cured 4 days post-Election Day