Ohio Ballot Board meets to re-write ballot language for State Issue 1

COLUMBUS — After getting an order from the Ohio Supreme Court, state leaders had to re-write ballot language for Issue 1 for the August special election.

Issue 1 involves how Ohioans can amend the state constitution.

Officials at the Montgomery Board of Elections and others across the Miami Valley are getting ready for a special election in August. This court ruling and today’s wording change have to do with what voters will see on their ballot on August 8th.

At the statehouse in Columbus on Tuesday, the Ohio Ballot Board, led by Ohio Secretary of State Frank LaRose, met to re-write the language for Issue 1.

The Ohio Supreme Court issued a court order to the board specifically to re-write an error in the summary of what Issue 1 would do if it passes.

Dr. Marc Clauson, who is a professor of history, law, and honors at Cedarville University, said, “Basically, what the court did was it heard this case from an organization that though the ballot initiative that was initiated by the legislature was not sufficiently clear. Which is required in these ballot issues.”

Clauson has been following the lawsuit and read the Ohio Supreme Court decision that came less than two months before the August special election.

“if this had turned out to be a long, drawn-out dealing with the substance of the language, not just the clarity of the wording, the court might have said ‘There’s no time do that and correct it before the time of the ballot initiative,’ But this case was just about the clarity of the language, So, the court said we can handle that.”

If voters approve Issue 1, it will amend our state constitution – making it harder to change it with future amendments. Passages would mean Ohio constitutional amendments would require a 60% supermajority in the statewide vote to pass.

Currently, the 50% majority has been in place for more than 100 years. It would also require campaigns to get a set minimum number of signatures from all 88 counties to qualify for the ballot as opposed to the current 44 counties.

The Ohio Ballot Board left their meeting Tuesday approving new language along party lines.

After today’s meeting in Columbus, reporters asked the lawyer from the group whose lawsuit prompted the Ohio Supreme Court decision whether they will sue over the new ballot language approved today. The lawyer said he would not rule that out.

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