Voters in Ohio yesterday rejected State Issue 1, a proposed amendment that would have added greater protection to the state’s constitution.
According to The Columbus Dispatch, with more than 99 percent of votes counted, the count was roughly 57% No, 43% Yes.
The state’s General Assembly added the initiative to the August ballot hoping to deter out-of-state interest groups who donate millions to sway the Buckeye State’s political agenda.
While those opposed to Issue 1 called the result “a major win for democracy in Ohio,” supporters of the measure had pointed out that because Ohio is one of 10 states that permits a simple majority to change its constitution, it is an easy target for such groups.
“With a state constitution that’s so easily manipulated, so easily amended, the Left has recognized that their biggest advantage is the deep pockets of their funders like George Soros and the ACLU and Planned Parenthood and the unions,” said Citizens for Community Virtues President Aaron Baer on “Washington Watch with Tony Perkins.”
“And so they recognize they don’t actually need to win state legislative races or governor’s races or things like that in states like Ohio that have a very vulnerable state constitution because of its low threshold. They can just spend as much money as they want to manipulate voters, to put on deceptive ads, and get their entire agenda into our state constitution, locking it in for generations to come.”
If Issue 1 had passed, the threshold for amending the state’s constitution would have increased from 50 to 60%.
“The bottom line is, our state’s constitution, just like the U.S. Constitution, should be more difficult to amend than just state law,” Baer said. “We’re talking about fundamental principles, right? To change the U.S. Constitution, you need two-thirds of Congress and then 75% of the states to ratify. That’s because the Constitution should only be changed in rare instances on widely agreed upon principles.”
The issue had taken on a sense of urgency because of another constitutional amendment that is due to be voted on in November. That amendment, according to a National Review article by Carrie Severino and Frank J. Scaturro of the Judicial Crisis Network, “would make the state into a haven for no-limits abortion and other procedures. … Complete strangers who assist children in obtaining life-altering procedures would find themselves on the right side of the law, while parents who try to protect their children would be deemed to have run afoul of the law.”
Following yesterday’s loss, Susan B. Anthony Pro-Life America issued a statement that read in part: “It is a sad day for Ohio and a warning for pro-life states across the nation. … Sadly, attacks on state constitutions are now the national playbook of the extreme pro-abortion Left. That is why everyone must take this threat seriously and recognize progressives will win if their opponents are scared into submission by the pro-abortion Left.”
Updated Aug. 9, 2023