No vote on Issue 1 limits government power

No vote on Issue 1 limits government power

Letter to the Editor,

For over 100 years, the Ohio Constitution protected citizens’ right to place a limit on the state government’s power by allowing citizens to petition to put constitutional amendments on the ballot. Issue 1 proposes to weaken our rights as Ohioans by changing this.

Issue 1 seeks to end the majority rule of Ohioans on election day by raising the passage threshold for a constitutional amendment from 50% to 60% of votes. In short, the state government does not seem to trust us Ohioans to govern ourselves by making common-sense decisions about ballot issues on election day, so they are making it harder for the will of the people to be acted upon.

Considering the past decade of corruption scandals in Columbus, now more than ever, it is critical Ohioans hold a serious limit on the power of the state government. Issue 1 weakens Ohioan’s ability to limit excessive government power.

Voting no on Issue 1 is not a partisan decision. Issue 1 undermines established democratic processes in our constitution that ensure free government and the protection of our liberties. Issue 1 harms Ohioans everywhere on the political spectrum because it requires 5% of signatures to be gathered from every Ohio county to get onto the ballot. It would only take one liberal county to block a conservative issue and one conservative county to block a liberal issue. If a system isn’t broken, don’t fix it. If a petition meets the current and already strict threshold of 5% of certified signatures in 44 Ohio counties, Ohioans ought to be able to decide on the issue at the ballot box with a majority vote.

Some politicians frame Issue 1 as being about a narrow set of political concerns, but Issue 1 affects any future vote on a constitutional amendment, regardless of its political content. On Aug. 8 vote no on Issue 1 to protect our constitutional right as Ohioans to have a direct majority vote on constitutional issues, to protect our freedom of self-determination and to preserve our right to limit the power of the state government.

James Barr

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