Issue 1, a ballot initiative that would have made it more challenging for Ohioans to amend the state’s constitution, failed to pass the Aug. 8 special election, with about 57% of voters casting ballots against it.
Supporters of the bill in the farming and agribusiness worlds said it would have helped keep Ohio a more stable business environment, protected agriculture from special interest groups and allowed rural communities to be more involved in policymaking. Those opposing the measure called it undemocratic and said it would make it extremely difficult for citizens to even bring constitutional issues to the ballot.
The measure’s failure to pass means that passing constitutional amendments will continue to take only a simple majority, rather than a 60% supermajority, as Issue 1 proposed. It also means people aiming to bring an issue to the ballot only need to get signatures from 44 counties, rather than all 88 of Ohio’s counties.
In an emailed statement to Farm and Dairy, Ohio Farm Bureau Federation executive vice president Adam Sharp said that though Issue 1 did not pass, the group will continue to work with farmers, legislators and the public to protect Ohio agriculture from outside interests.
The Ohio Farm Bureau is one of numerous agriculture and farming groups that supported Issue 1 as part of the Vote Yes Ohio campaign.
“Ohio Farm Bureau has clear policy, written by our members, that supported the two elements of this ballot measure – increasing the threshold required for ballot measures to pass and requiring signatures from all 88 counties for measures to be placed on the ballot,” he said.
Those opposing Issue 1 said its failure to pass means Ohioans will continue to be better able to make their voices heard on constitutional issues.
“Issue 1 was a direct attack on the environmental movement’s future potential to combat the causes of climate change … All Ohioans deserve to have their voices heard on the issues that matter most to them,” said Carol Kauffman, executive director of the Ohio Environmental Council, which opposed Issue 1, in an Aug. 8 statement. “We are proud to stand with the majority of Ohioans from every corner of the state, across political lines, who voted no on Issue 1 as well as the more than 200 organizations who united behind the One Person One Vote campaign.”
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