Abortion rights in Ohio passed their first test on Tuesday. But final exams can still be a challenge.

by a margin of 57 percent to 43 percent, Ohio voters rejected issue 1, which (among other things) would have made it difficult to pass future state constitutional amendments that would have required him to receive 60 percent of the vote. The election was widely regarded as a proxy fight over abortion, as Republican legislators placed the issue on the ballot in an attempt to 1. prevent passage of the November amendment Which would enshrine abortion rights in the state constitution.

These types of maneuvers have proved unpopular in the past, and Issue 1 was no exception. As I wrote on Monday, Republicans have tried counter liberal ballot measures by increasing the threshold for passing some of them In at least 10 states since 2017 – but only one of those attempts has been successful. And in the time they’ve been put before voters five times, those efforts have averaged just 43 percent of the vote. In other words, majority rule appears to be quite popular among voters.

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 43

*Results August 9 at 7:30 am Eastern. 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

As a result of the failure of point 1, constitutional amendments in Ohio would continue to require only a simple majority to pass. This could prove decisive in the November vote on abortion rights. According to an average Of three early voting Of that amendment57 percent of Ohioans support adding abortion rights to the constitution, 24 percent oppose it, and 20 percent are undecided. and a common amendment Last year, next door Michigan passed by 13 percentage points (56.7 percent to 43.3 percent).

However, abortion-rights advocates cannot simply assume that the abortion amendment will be headed for victory now that they have defeated issue 1. Initial balloting for a similar amendment finally passed in Michigan last year. It also enjoyed a wide lead in the summer before the election, but this advantage waned as Election Day approached (although the amendment fared better in its final polls). And, of course, Ohio is a more red state than Michigan: In 2020, President Biden won Michigan by 3 points but lost Ohio by 8 points. Elections don’t always work cleanly like this, but if you subtract 11 points from the margin for Michigan’s abortion amendment, you arrive at a scenario where Ohio’s amendment passes by only 2 points.

So expect abortion-rights supporters and opponents alike not to take this fall lightly. That’s especially true given the election’s high stakes: The November vote could decide whether Ohio’s 2.6 million reproductive-age women have access to abortions after six weeks of pregnancy. while abortion Currently valid up to 22 weeks of pregnancy in OhioThe state has a law on the books banning abortion after cardiac activity is detected (about six weeks). That law is currently on hold While the Ohio Supreme Court decides whether it is constitutional or not. If the November amendment passes, the voters will have made their decision for them, and the law will be unconstitutional. But if it fails, the court’s 4-3 Republican majority could easily uphold the six-week ban, which would outlaw most abortions in the state.

Not surprising, then, that interest is expected to peak in the November election. Just look at how many Ohioans turned out to vote on a ballot on the seemingly dry topic of constitutional election law in the summer of an odd year. More than 3 million ballots were cast in Tuesday’s election – 34 or 35 percent of the state 2022 Voting Population, depending on the last match. For comparison, only 18 percent of VEPs voted on redistricting on the May 2018 ballot.

That high turnout tells us two things: First, voters saw this as an election that went far beyond constitutional election law. And second, nine months after the 2022 midterm elections and 13 months after the Dobbs decision, abortion remains a problem. highly motivating issue for voters,


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