Special Election Issue 1: A Direct Attack on Democracy

Posted Jun. 8, 2023 by

Issue 1 is extreme! It changes a provision that has been in Ohio’s Constitution for 110 years.

Issue 1, formerly HJR 1/SJR 2, is an attack on the principle of one person, one vote and majority rule. Not only would it allow 40 percent of citizens to veto something the majority wants, it would also nearly eliminate a union's ability to put a citizen-led initiative on the ballot.

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That’s why almost every union in the state is opposing Issue 1 on August 8. In fact, Dorsey Hager, the Secretary-Treasurer of the Central Ohio Building Trades spoke to nearly 350 OCSEA activists this past weekend at the Stewards Conference, telling them that labor hasn’t been this united in opposition since the Senate Bill 5 days. He also said that extreme legislators at the Statehouse are turning this state into an anti-union state and that they must be stopped before it's too late.

Issue 1 is extreme! It changes a provision that has been in Ohio’s Constitution for 110 years. And, it would increase the threshold for passage of any citizen-led ballot initiative to 60 percent from the simple majority it is now.

It’s already extremely difficult to get an initiative on the ballot. Many OCSEA activists remember going door-to-door to get signatures for weeks on end against Senate Bill 5. Back then, you only had to get the required number of signatures in 44 counties. Under Issue 1, you’d have to get signatures in all 88 counties to get a constitutional amendment on the ballot. This change would all but ensure that only billionaire-funded special interests with deep pockets could afford to put something on the ballot-––not grassroots citizens or union members like us.

It’s so unpopular that NO on Issue 1 already has wide bipartisan support. In fact, four former Ohio Governors and five former Attorney Generals have come out against it.

But the only way we can defeat this is to VOTE!!! Please join us at the ballot box on August 8. Let’s ensure everyday citizens still have access to the ballot, that our voices are heard, that we are still One Person, One Vote!!! Please join us in voting NO on ISSUE 1 on August 8.