Just a Couple of Ohio Voters, Voting No on Issue 1

John Scalzi

Issue 1 being the rather brazen attempt by a bunch of jerks to change the Ohio constitution to make it more difficult to change the Ohio constitution by voter initiative. It’s so blatantly anti-democratic at there’s an actual coalition of Democrats and Republicans arrayed against it, including former Ohio governors from both parties. Recent polling shows that most Ohioans are against Issue 1, but of course polling means nothing if people don’t show up to vote against it, so, hey, guess what Krissy and I did today.

We voted early (the actual voting day is August 8, a date, by the way, chosen by the current legislators because they know special election dates have low turnout, which would favor Issue 1 passing), and there was a small line to vote, which suggests some heat to this particular issue. And having voted, we had lunch! A lunch of victory, knowing we had responsibly discharged our duty to our state.

If you’re in Ohio and are registered to vote, please remember to vote on Issue 1 on or before August 8. I personally suggest you vote “no,” because Issue 1 is awful and cynical and the people who wrote and championed it should be ashamed of themselves forever, but of course please read up on the issue to your satisfaction so you can make an informed choice in the voting booth. Thanks.

— JS

24 Comments on “Just a Couple of Ohio Voters, Voting No on Issue 1”

  1. I agree with everything you said and would like to add that we should all remember the political sleaze bags that are trying to get this passed. Most are running for office in 2024 and they should be. defeated,

  2. As a registered voter in nearby Sidney, Ohio, I plan to vote early and vote No against Issue 1. Republicans who seek to subvert the public will need to be stopped and, hopefully, be removed from office in the next general election.

  3. If anybody wants to help encourage people in Ohio to get out the vote, you can write postcards to Ohio Voters at postcardstovoters.org or letters to Ohio Voters at votefwd.org.

  4. We had a similar initiative in SD a few years back, and it became a talking point for the GOP… And hence passed.

    Since then, it’s been used to overturn amendments that had broad public support, solely on technicalities due to the restrictive amendment.

    Hoping things work out better in OH. :-/

  5. You left out one of the most important parts, this exact same legislature just “outlawed” August elections last year!


  6. Thanks for the No vote. There’s a whole slew of “vote yes” signs along the roadways around us, and a bunch of social media posts about it. I may, may remind you, have been less than civil in responding to the asshats who are saying to vote yes. But they’re still standing, so I believe I have moderated my response in the main.

  7. Thank you for voting! Sending positive “get out the vote” vibes from Seattle.

    “You left out one of the most important parts, this exact same legislature just “outlawed” August elections last year!


    I think that’s one of the traits that disgusts me most about the current GOP — no law or tradition or common practice, not even their own — is sacred if it means “winning.” They’ll cheat and cheat and cheat their way to victory. See: Merrick Garland’s stolen seat or the attempts to suppress youth voting / cut early voting days / polling booths in Democratic precincts.

  8. At the risk of being stoned by the mob, I’d like to point out that it was California’s Propositions system (which allows for laws to be enacted by plebiscite alone) that gave the state the disastrous Proposition 5 in the late 1970s (which cut property taxes significantly, and in the process turned California’s school system from one of the best in the nation to almost the worst), and the horrendous Proposition 8 in 2008 (which outlawed marriage equality—voted on by many of the same people who voted for Barack Obama!).

    The Propositions system has been weaponized by the Right
    Wing in California to create a state full of uneducated homophobes, so I’d need some pretty strong evidence that it could HURT the Right, badly, rather than aid them before I voted against curtailing tHe WiLl oF tHe PeEpLle!

  9. Timothy –

    Notwithstanding the California experience, I feel compelled to point out that:

    1) The Republicans have admitted that the sole reason for doing this special election is to try to block the passage of a proposed ballot initiative which will probably be on the November ballot to protect peoples’ rights to abortion, contraception and IVF treatments without governmental interference.

    2) At bottom, your argument is that ballot initiatives hurt the people. My attitude is that if folks are dumb enough to vote for ballot initiatives which hurt them, it’s their own damn fault.

    3) the Ohio Republicans have already managed to ignore/violate the previously-adopted ballot initiative mandating a non-partisan election districting commission by way of electing hardliners to the Ohio Supreme Court, suggesting that anything short of a direct amendment to Ohio’s constitution will get ignored by those in power.

    4) the specific proposal at question in this special election makes it literally almost impossible for a citizen-sponsored ballot initiative to get on this ballot in the first place. What it doesn’t make almost impossible is for the legislature to propose and pass constitutional amendments before sending them to voters. In other words, ‘harder for thee, but not for me.’

  10. the people who wrote and championed it should be ashamed of themselves forever

    Doesn’t that assume that the people who wrote and championed it have a conscience/can feel “shame”? On the evidence of GOP politics pretty much nationwide, that’s… highly unlikely.

  11. Gotta go with Hanna’s human here, if the current OH regime is for restrictions, it’s because they want to centralize their own control. If I were still in OH I’d vote no. Unfortunately all my remaining kin are likely to vote yes.

    ‘Shame’ and ‘Modern GQP Politician’ do appear to be a null set, unless in the sense of “it’s a shame I’ve run out of space in the volcano….”

    I think Republicans of yore might have been more certain of their power, and thus able to afford some noblesse oblige. The modern crop may act certain, but they know they have had some major trench lines overrun in the culture war.

  12. ::My attitude is that if folks are dumb enough to vote for ballot initiatives which hurt them, it’s their own damn fault.::

    my dog is named Hannah—the problem is, it’s NOT the people voting for these Propositions who suffer for them: My Mom never directly suffered from bad schools thanks to lower property taxes because all her kids had graduated High School by then! Sure, her GRANDCHILDREN suffered from bad schools, but like the good Republican she always was she blamed “Liberals” for that….

    As for Prop 8? It wasn’t gay people who voted for it—in fact, they turned out against it! But the homophobes, like good Rich Right Wingers, were better funded so it passed….

    Since Scalzi is voting against this, I assume the point to opposition in Ohio at least is to PUNISH the Right, for which I can only wholeheartedly approve. But I’ve seen it go the other way in the state I went to High School and college in, and which my parents settled once Dad retired from the Army.

  13. @Timothy
    “ Since Scalzi is voting against this, I assume the point to opposition in Ohio at least is to PUNISH the Right”

    I assume that, since Scalzi (and Krissy Scalzi) voted no, they thought those votes were the best way to preserve the rights of the people of Ohio, including themselves. “Punishing the enemy” is a central motivation of right-wingers, not left.

  14. The constitution of the state of Ohio does not appear to set a minimum for the area or population of a county. As I understand it, Issue 1 would require future initiatives to gather valid signatures from residents of every Ohio county.

    What’s to stop a future legislature from creating an 89th county, say, Scalzi County Ohio? Permanent human population 3, area 5 acres. Any proposition needs a signature from Scalziland; otherwise, nope.

    Of course given the current makeup of the Ohio legislature, it probably isn’t Scalzi County that they will be creating.

  15. I’ll be voting NO in Gahanna on Aug. 8 – I actually like going to the polls.

    And, I think that the first target of this is to stop the right to abortion, which will be on the ballot in November.

  16. Yes, this is absolutely about the voter initiative to get a Reproductive Freedom amendment on the ballot in November. Current polling has it passing with about 55% of the vote, oh look, Issue 1 would set the threshold to 60%. And that of course is assuming they don’t attempt to retroactively apply the new signature standards to keep it off the ballot completely.

  17. I am of two minds about ballot initiatives to amend state constitutions. On the one hand they are a sign that normal governance by enacting or repealing laws is broken. They lard constitutions up with things that should not be there. In Florida, I remember voting on one to outlaw factory farms. On the other hand, the normal process of governing by passing and repealing laws is broken and even more so where extreme gerrymanders have entrenched minority rule. so I wound up voting for constitutional amendments for things that had no business in the constitution because there was no other way to get past the gerrymandered, wing nut legislature.

    I have to note that this one is closer to a constitutional issue than a lot of them so I might not have to hold my nose as much to vote for it as usual. (If, that is, I lived in Ohio, I’m in Tennessee now. I don’t know if we even have the process.)

  18. This is another example of a “foundational” law being attacked in order to weaken or remove it. These changes are designed to erode democracy. The two most egregious examples include the the Super PAC law in 2010 which allows unlimited donations by a single person or legal entity. The Super PAC can then allocate money to any candidate or ballot issue as they see fit. The second biggie was the removal of the FCC Fairness Doctrine which mandated both sides of an issue be explored / reported by news agencies. This happened in 1987 but thru policy changes at the FCC was kept somewhat in place until 2011 when it was fully killed. It’s interesting to note that Fox News was founded in October 1986. If you like conspiracy theories may I suggest the long term erosion / removal of foundational laws which protect our democracy be at the top of your list.

%d bloggers like this: