Today, August 8, 2023, is a very important day in the history of Ohio. Today Ohio voters, most likely a minority of the State’s registered voters, will decide whether they want to retain some direct control over how our state is governed or whether they want to surrender complete control of Ohio government to people like Larry Householder. A No vote on Issue 1 today means that you want to keep the right Ohioans have had since 1912 to change state law and state government without first getting permission from the politicians. A yes vote today means that you want to cede all power in our state to the ever more corrupt politicians in Columbus. Issue 1 is not about abortion, guns, parental rights, or small business. Issue 1 is about whether Ohioans keep any degree of control over how Ohio is governed.  The choice is simple but very important.  If you have not voted, the polls are open until 7:30 tonight.


Regardless of whether Issue 1 passes or not, we will have another election on November 7, 2023. The Republicans who control our state government have not yet done away with elections entirely. A lot of things will be on the ballot this November. While the local offices up for election in November are important, the most important thing we will vote on in November is whether to add the Reproductive Freedom amendment to our Ohio Constitution.

Thanks to the extraordinary efforts of many people gathering petition signatures this spring, Ohioans will have an opportunity in November to add explicit protection for some basic human rights to our state constitution. The Reproductive Freedom amendment would explicitly protect a woman’s right to choose to have an abortion. The amendment would also explicitly protect both women’s and men’s right to make their own decisions about things like contraception and fertility treatment based on their own values and on medical advice instead of being forced to the ideology of whoever is in power in Columbus.

We know that the Reproductive Freedom amendment will be on the November ballot. We do not know as I write this whether a simple majority vote will be sufficient to add these basic human rights to our state constitution or whether it will take a 60% yes vote.  Either way, we must pass the Reproductive Freedom amendment. We need to catch our breath after the Issue 1 campaign, take a very short break, and then work even harder than we have to pass the Reproductive Freedom amendment.  


The very important elections we are having this year will be followed by a massive election in 2024. In 2024, voters in Clermont Couny will vote for President of the United States, a U.S. Senator, our member of the U.S. House of Representatives, our members of the Ohio House of Representatives, and many county offices. The primary election for these offices is scheduled for March 19, 2024. What that primary election date means is that people wanting to run for any of the offices elected in 2024 must file their petitions by 4:00 p.m. on December 20, 2023. That filing date is less than five months away.

While time is short, the need for people to run as candidates is great. To focus on just one office, both incumbent State Representatives from Clermont County voted to put Issue 1 on the ballot in an August special election at a cost estimated to be around $ 25 million tax dollars. Issue 1 shows a complete lack of respect for Ohio voters, asking them to give up even more power to the politicians in state government. We need people to run for these offices who respect the voters and who will represent them instead of far-right ideology and big-money special interests. Running for office is not easy, but nothing worthwhile is ever easy. However, we need to send the message in 2024 that our elected officials need to represent us rather than using their offices to give themselves even more power.

Stay safe.