(TheConservativeTimes.org) – Ohio voters rejected the Republican-backed Ohio Issue 1 by 57% to 43%. Republicans sought to raise the threshold to pass amendments to the state constitution from above 50% to 60%. Additionally, it would require ballot initiatives to gather signatures from all 88 of Ohio’s counties.
Conservative proponents of the issue believed the move would help to protect the state from majoritarian tyranny on divisive topics and that it would weaken outside influence on Ohio politics. However, voter opposition to the proposal spread into 14 traditionally Republican counties that Trump won in the 2020 presidential election.
While abortion was not directly on the special election ballot, this result will decide how the November referendum to enshrine abortion rights into the state constitution will go. Opponents of the proposal asserted that it was a power grab and that the failure of the issue was a victory for democracy, demonstrating that a majority rule is all that is needed. Critics claimed that the move to put it on the summer ballot was for Republicans to have a lower turnout and a more favorable environment to win the issue and raise the threshold to reject the abortion amendment in November. They also pointed to the fact that the GOP had voted last year to rid Ohio of August elections due to low turnout.
The group pushing for the abortion rights amendment, Ohioans for Reproductive Rights, will have a much easier time reaching just over 50% than they would for over 60%. If voters pass the amendment in Ohio, it will undermine the recent pro-life legislation from their state legislature and deregulate abortion in the state. The Susan B. Anthony Organization, a pro-life advocacy group, found the results saddening, criticizing the scale of outside influence on the election.
Voter turnout in the special election was particularly intense. Over 700,000 early and mail ballots made up more than 20% of the final vote share, showing an above-average turnout for a summer ballot where national organizations promoted both sides of the issue campaign. While Republicans lost on this initiative, this is a rare instance in a state that has notably trended for the Republican party. All eyes now turn to the November election to see how Ohioan voters decide on the abortion referendum.
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