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Ohio voters reject ballot Issue 1 ahead of November abortion vote

Issue 1 would have made it more difficult to amend Ohio's constitution. Its defeat may show how voters feel about an upcoming abortion vote.
Ohio voters reject ballot Issue 1 ahead of November abortion vote
Posted at 7:29 PM, Aug 08, 2023

Ohio voters resoundingly voted down Ballot Issue 1 in a special election Monday, according to the Associated Press.

Issue 1 proposed raising the threshold of votes required to make amendments to the Ohio state constitution.

Under the proposal, the constitution could only be amended with the support of 60% of voters. That is a greater share of state voters than the simple majority that current law requires to make amendments. 

The measure would have also set minimum signature requirements for those seeking to change the constitution. A petition would have required signatures from 5% of the number of voters who voted in the last gubernatorial election, across all of Ohio's 88 counties. The measure also would have required that if petitioners filed without getting the minimum of signatures, they would have had to start the process over.

Ohio's majority-GOP legislature put Issue 1 on the ballot in this special election.

SEE MORE: August brings important elections in Ohio, Mississippi, Tennessee

The vote has big implications for another state election scheduled for November of this year. Voters are set to weigh in on a new amendment which will decide if abortion access should be constitutionally guaranteed in the state.

If Issue 1 had passed, a larger majority of votes would have been required to enact those protections.

As such, some considered the Issue 1 vote an early referendum on residents' intent toward abortion protections.

The rate of early voting for the special election on Tuesday was more than double that of primary elections in 2018 and 2022, according to the Associated Press.

In polling last year, the AP found 59% percent of Ohio voters favored protecting abortion rights.

If Ohio votes to enshrine abortion protections this year, it will join several otherwise red-leaning states that have done so since the Supreme Court overturned the protections of Roe v. Wade in 2022.

Residents of Kansas and Kentucky voted in 2022 to constitutionally protect abortions in their respective states.

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