Ohio rejects Issue 1, a constitutional amendment intended to block the abortion movement

Ohio voters on Tuesday rejected an attempt to make it harder to amend the state constitution, according to The Associated Press, a significant victory for abortion rights advocates trying to prevent the Republican-controlled state legislature from tightly restricting the practice.

The abortion question turned into a typically sleepless summer election year that gained national prominence and drew an unusually large number of Ohio voters to the August election.

Initial results showed the measure losing by roughly a 3 to 2 margin.

The contest was seen as a key test of Republicans’ growing efforts across the country to prevent voters from using ballot initiatives, and a potential bellwether of the political climate in national elections next year.

Referendum action would require amendments to the state constitution to be approved by 60 percent of voters, significantly higher than the current requirement. Republicans initially touted it as an attempt to prevent wealthy special interests from hijacking the reform process for their own gain. In May, the Legislature voted mostly along party lines to take the measure on Tuesday.

But from the start, it was overwhelmed by arguments led by — but hardly limited to — the abortion debate.

The Ohio Legislature last year passed some of the nation’s toughest restrictions on abortion — banning abortions before six weeks — in the wake of the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade. State courts have yet to rule on the constitutionality of those bans, but the legislation passed a successful grassroots campaign this year to put an abortion-rights amendment on the November ballot.

See also  Buyers around the world are moving to bigger cars, erasing the gains of cleaner technology. EVs will help

Among other restrictions, the amendment would have prevented abortions from being regulated.

Raising the threshold for adopting an amendment to 60 percent of the vote would have thrown the fate of the proposed amendment into doubt. In Two surveys, Between 58 percent and 59 percent of respondents supported providing a constitutional right to abortion.

In the 111 years Ohio voters have been empowered to propose and vote on ballot initiatives, only a third of constitutional amendments have passed 60 percent, according to the political data website Ballotpedia.

Other provisions on Tuesday’s ballot sought to raise barriers to even putting amendments on the ballot. The amendments require supporters to collect a minimum number of signatures from all 88 Ohio counties, instead of the current 44. Another eliminated the ability to correct errors in signatures rejected by state officials.

The legislative move to raise barriers to the new amendments came weeks before the campaign delivered petitions to state offices with nearly half a million verified signatures, enough to force a November vote. Tuesday’s election has become a proxy for the November election, with abortion access supporters and anti-abortion forces staging a multimillion-dollar preview of the coming battle.

Ballotpedia estimated last week that at least $32.5 million was spent on the war, split roughly equally between the two sides. Eight of the 10 dollars came from donors outside Ohio, according to estimates from Uline Inc., a nationwide packing and shipping company. including $4 million from one donor, Illinois founder Richard Uihlein. Right-wing causes.

Supporters of the Legislature’s proposal include other out-of-state donors Susan B. Anthony Pro-Life America, a Washington, DC anti-abortion advocacy group has contributed nearly $6.4 million. The Concord Fund, one of several companies controlled by Leonard Leo, has overseen campaigns to confirm Republican nominees to the U.S. Supreme Court, another donor.

See also  The family of a southern Utah father who killed 7 family members says they are devastated

Out-of-state donors are leading opponents of the Legislature’s proposal Sixteen thirty funds, a Washington DC supporter of progressive causes gave $2.64 million; The Tides Foundation, another donor gave $1.88 million to progressive causes; And Karla JurvetsenA Palo Alto, Calif., physician and supporter of Democratic candidates, he donated nearly $1 million.

Beyond the war on abortion, some voters seemed simply put off by the tactics the Legislature used to get proposed restrictions before voters. Republicans declared nearly all August elections illegitimate in a poll last December, saying some voted because they fell easy prey to special interests with enough money to turn away their supporters.

When it became clear that a vote on the abortion rights amendment could take place in November, lawmakers reversed course in May. More than a few critics noted that Tuesday’s vote was, in essence, an election rigged by well-funded special interests.

Among some who voted against the motion, anger at the legislature’s tactics was palpable.

“This is one of the most low-key, low-belt activities I’ve ever seen in politics,” said Jim Nichols, a medicine major at Case Western Reserve University, outside a middle school polling station in Shaker Heights, a liberal Cleveland suburb.

In 2020 Donald J. In Miami Township, a Cincinnati suburb that went strongly for Trump, Tom Baker, 46, said the vote was a last-minute effort by the state legislature that “tilted the playing field in favor of all the aging touchstones.” Conservative people try to force it on generations.

“I don’t like the idea of ​​changing the ways of government, especially for an agenda,” he said.

See also  Treasury yields decline after fed minutes

That kind of skepticism hasn’t weighed on the Legislature’s restrictions with many supporters.

“Evil never sleeps,” said Bill McClellan, 67, as he voted at a crowded polling place in Strongsville, southwest of Cleveland. “Liberals don’t like that Ohio is a red state, and they keep attacking us.”

Reporting contributed Daniel McGraw And Rachel Richardson.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *