To say the least, the No. 1 campaign in Ohio has been exciting. An advertisement Arguing that the ballot measure is necessary to prevent children from receiving gender-affirming care without their parents’ consent. another feature a steamy sex scene Disruption over a Republican Congressman stealing condoms from a couple.

Based on this, you might be confused as to what issue 1 is about – but it would be safe to assume that it would be pretty spicy. Not so: it’s really a procedural question whether the Ohio Constitution should require an amendment 60 percent majority vote to pass, (Petitioners would also need to obtain signatures from all 88 Ohio counties to get the constitutional amendment on the ballot and would lose their ability to obtain new signatures to replace any that are found to be invalid.) But as As you can tell from those commercials, issue 1 has become a proxy battle on a more controversial topic: a various constitutional amendmentsTo guarantee reproductive rights, Ohioans will vote in November. ohio republican said Issue 1, which will go before voters Tuesday, aims to make it difficult to pass that amendment — and if they succeed, abortion-rights advocates will face a much tougher challenge this autumn.

Issue 1 is the latest in a series of efforts by GOP politicians to change the rules governing ballot measures with the implicit, or sometimes explicit, purpose of thwarting citizen-led policy proposals. Since 2017, at least 10 states – Arizona, Arkansas, Florida, I, Missouri, North Dakota, ohio, oklahoma, South Dakota And Utah – Raising the threshold for passing at least some ballot initiatives has been considered. All of these efforts were either led by Republican legislators in response to or in anticipation of liberal ballot questions – From one side Effort to expand Medicaid in South Dakota through 2022 and, more recently, a Possible 2024 abortion-rights amendment in Missouri,

Good news for the detractors of Number 1? These kinds of rule changes usually don’t go over well with voters — and right now, polling suggests this latest effort may well fail.

The only similar attempt since 2017 to be successful proposition 132 Last year in Arizona, that raised the threshold for passing some ballot measures to 60 percent. But unlike Ohio’s Issue 1, that proposal only applied to ballot measures that raised taxes, and it passed very narrowly — only 51 percent to 49 percent.

Proposals like Ohio’s Issue 1 don’t have a good track record.

Election results for ballot measures to increase the threshold for passing future ballot measures since 2017

Year State remedy proposed range real support
2018 South Dakota revision x 55% 46%
2022 South Dakota revision c 60 33
2022 Arizona proposition 132 60 51
2022 Arkansas Fig. 2 60 41
2023 ohio Issue 1 60 ,

Arizona Proposition 132 only raised the limit for ballot measures that raised taxes. South Dakota Amendment C would have raised the limit only for ballot measures that raised taxes or appropriated at least $10 million over a five-year period. South Dakota Amendment X and Ohio Amendment 1 would only raise the limit for constitutional amendments. Arkansas Issue 2 would have only raised the limit for constitutional amendments and citizen-initiated laws.

Source: Ballotpedia, State Election Officials

Of course, issue 1 will not make it difficult to pass citizen-initiated constitutional amendments. It’s also part of a broader pattern of Republicans making it difficult to put initiatives on the ballot in the first place. Since 2017, at least 16 states – Arizona, Arkansas, Florida, Idaho, I, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, North Dakota, ohio, oklahoma, Oregon, South Dakota, Utah And Wyoming – Has proposed increasing the number of signatures needed to qualify a ballot initiative or, like point 1, adding new requirements that those signatures come from specific jurisdictions, such as counties or congressional districts.

These efforts have been slightly more successful than efforts to raise voting limits. Arkansas, Idaho, Michigan and Utah have implemented new sign-delivery requirements in recent years, however. of Idaho And of michigan Later dismissed in court. But it’s worth noting that none of these laws needed to go before the voters (and, indeed, whenever Arkansas tried it in 2020Voters rejected the proposal).

These geographic requirements can be especially challenging for liberal petitioners. For example, Missouri has for decades required ballot-initiative campaigns to collect a certain number of signatures from six of the state’s eight congressional districts. For conservatives, it’s a piece of cake: Six of the state’s eight districts are entirely Republican., so they can only leave two Democratic districts. But the Liberals need to collect signatures from at least four ruby-red seats, including a seat that voted for former President Donald Trump in 2020 by 39 percentage points. Conversely, without geographic necessity, liberal petitioners could easily collect all their signatures from the fertile Blue Plains of St. Louis and Kansas City.

So what are the odds for No. 1 in Ohio on Tuesday? We don’t have a lot of data, but there are indications that this too may be heading towards defeat. if you average three surveys Of race is that was released, 35 percent of Ohioans support the 60 percent cap, 45 percent oppose it and 20 percent are not sure. That’s a lot of indecision, but also a well documented Status quo bias against ballot measures – which means that undecided voters break down on “no”. Also, opponents of issue 1 have more cash on hand than its supporters; By July 19, “no” had outnumbered “yes”. $15 million to $5 million,

However, if Issue 1 is passed, it could block many proposed constitutional amendments in the future from becoming law. Only one other state, Florida, Requires exactly 60 percent or more support To pass its constitutional amendments. Since voters passed the Issue 1-esque amendment to this effect in 2006, nine amendments (of the 53 that appeared on the ballot) have failed with 50 to 60 percent of the vote, including one amendment. increase school class sizefrom one switch to top-two primary system and to one legalize medical marijuana, For comparison, 13 failed with less than 50 percent of the vote. In other words, 41 percent of Florida’s constitutional amendments that have failed since 2006 would have passed under the simple majority system. And in Ohio, it seems quite possible that November’s abortion-rights amendment will fall in that 50-60 percent zone. According to the same three polls, Ohioans support the abortion amendment On average, 57 percent to 24 percent (20 percent undecided).

That is to say: If Issue 1 passes, the November ballot initiative could become its first victim. If not, it will likely go into the campaign in decline on the winning side. It’s no exaggeration to say that, even though it’s not technically on the ballot, the fate of abortion rights in Ohio could effectively be decided on Tuesday.


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