Vote NO on August 8

It is time to act!  State Issue 1 (aka SJR 2), the only issue on the August 8 special election ballot, is the biggest threat to democratic government in Ohio in many, many years. If turnout for this August’s special election is triple the turnout for last August’s statewide special election, that still means that less than a quarter of the registered voters in Ohio will decide this vitally important issue. This election will turn on who gets their voters to the polls in August: Republicans who want to perpetuate minority/special interest rule or Ohioans who want to retain a right they have had for over 100 years to decide basic issues about how Ohio is governed. If you are reading this, you are probably in the second group. Please vote in the August 8 election but realize that is not enough.We need your help before August 8. We need your help now.

The Current Process For Citizens to Amend the Ohio Constitution

The way Ohioans are currently able to amend their state constitution has been in place for over 100 years. It has three basic elements.

  1. Petitions submitted to the Secretary of State must contain valid signatures of registered Ohio voters equal in number to ten percent of the votes cast in the last election for governor. Based on the 2022 gubernatorial election, that requirement is currently 413,488 valid signatures.
  2. The petition signatures submitted to the SOS must also include signatures from registered voters in at least 44 Ohio counties equal in number to five percent of the votes cast in that county in the last election for governor. Based on the 2022 election, that number for Clermont County is 4,022.
  3. If petitions with enough valid signatures to meet both numerical thresholds are submitted to the SOS, the proposed amendment goes on a statewide election ballot. The amendment becomes part of our state constitution if more than fifty percent of the Ohio voters in that election vote in favor of it.

How Issue 1 Makes Citizen Initiatives Almost Impossible

State Issue 1 will dramatically change this process. First, the petitions submitted to the Secretary of State will have to contain signatures by registered voters in every one of Ohio’s 88 counties equal to five percent of all registered voters in that county. For Clermont County, based on the 2022 election, that would almost double the number of required signatures, from 4,022 to 7,191. More importantly, no matter how many registered voters in 87 counties sign the petitions, if one county produces petitions with one signature less than required for that county, Ohioans will not be allowed to vote on the proposed amendment. In the unlikely event that sufficient petition signatures are submitted, the proposed amendment would go on an election ballot. However, Issue 1 says that amendment would not become part of our state constitution unless at least 60% of voters vote in favor.  Yes votes by 59.99 % of voters will not be good enough.

As you can see, this will make it virtually impossible for grassroots amendments to ever reach the voters.  Only very wealthy special interests will have the money to hire signature gatherers to go into every county in Ohio to get signatures.  Only very wealthy special interests will have the money to saturate the media with ads to get 60% yes votes.

Republicans Claim Protection From Outside Special Interests

Republicans initially argued that Issue 1 was necessary to keep amendments tailored for special interests out of our state constitution. Although the current process has been in place for over 100 years, Republicans have not identified even one “special interest” amendment that process has allowed into our state constitution. More recently, some supporters of Issue 1, most prominently Ohio Secretary of State Frank LaRose, have said Issue 1 is intended to prevent passage of the Right to Reproductive Freedom Amendment, expected to be on the ballot in November. Polls indicate that 59% of Ohio voters support this amendment. Issue 1 is intended to thwart the will of well more than a simple majority of Ohioans. In truth, Issue 1 is also intended to thwart any more constitutional amendments intended to eliminate our badly gerrymandered General Assembly and federal Congressional districts.

Please Help Defeat Issue 1 – We Have A Plan

Issue 1 is one of the worst ideas proposed in Ohio in my lifetime. It must be defeated. Defeating Issue 1 will depend upon who votes in the August 8 election. We had a statewide special election last August. Only eight percent of registered voters in Ohio bothered to vote.

Defeating Issue 1 requires getting people who will vote NO to vote. That means we must reach out to voters likely to vote NO. We must do that now. Early voting starts on July 11, less than a month from now. We have identified approximately 3,000 voters in Clermont County likely to vote against Issue 1 if they vote.

We must reach these voters and get them to vote. We need people to knock on doors and deliver literature. We need people to make phone calls. I know many of us really do not like to canvass and phone-bank. This, defeating Issue 1 is really important. We need to do this task for Ohio.

The Clermont County Democratic Party has lists of the voters in your precinct and adjoining precincts whom we need to reach. Unlike many canvassing efforts, these are people likely to be happy to see you. We will not send you to any doors with a “Let’s Go Brandon” flag outside. We have literature. Please step up to help. We need to reach all of these voters, ideally more than once, before August 8. Call or e-mail me if you are willing to help in this vital effort. I can be reached at 513-621-9603 or

Please help!