Ohio state lawmakers are working to vote a constitutional amendment onto the ballot that would make it harder for Ohioans to pass citizen-led ballot initiatives.
House Joint Resolution 1 (HJR1) proposes to raise the threshold to pass citizen-led Constitutional Amendments on the ballot from a simple majority (50% plus one), to a super majority (60%). The amendment would create further hurdles to Ohioans changing or creating their own laws by eliminating the 10-day "cure period" for petitioners to make up deficits in any counties where they didn't collect enough signatures. As well, it would require petition signatures from all 88 Ohio counties rather than the current 44 county requirement.
That's why we have to keep up the pressure on our lawmakers to keep a simple majority-rule democracy and vote NO on HJR1.
Citizen-led ballot initiatives are a tool of direct democracy that allow us to check the power of our state government.
Lawmakers fear losing control over reproductive rights and redistricting and are working to get HJR1 on the ballot for a special August election when turnout will be lower. To make the August election, lawmakers must pass HJR1 by May 10. We only have til then to change their minds.Clearly, this is a blatant attack on direct democracy in Ohio, and a step toward making citizen-led initiatives nearly impossible to achieve.
This flagrant attempt to hoard power by leaders in our state cannot go unchallenged, and we have to reach out to our legislators immediately to urge them to PROTECT DEMOCRACY in Ohio.
I'm writing to voice my opposition to HJR1 which will raise the threshold for passing Constitutional Amendments. There is no justifiable reason to make the citizen-led ballot initiative process harder. In a democracy, majority-rule must be protected. Requiring a 60% supermajority for citizen-led constitutional amendments to pass, doubling the amount of counties for signature requirements and eliminating the brief "cure period" to make up deficits is an infringement on our rights.
Since 1912, Ohioans from across the political spectrum have utilized the right to amend our Constitution via the petition process. I am proud to live in a state that gives voters the right to direct democracy and the ability to have a real say in politics.
In Ohio, we have the power of citizen-led constitutional amendments, initiated statutes, and referendums; three abilities that citizens have in only 14 other states. These tools of direct democracy equip us with the ability to check the power of our state government. Since 2000, there have been 16 Constitutional Amendments proposed in Ohio. Of those, 11 have failed. Of the five that passed, three passed with more than 60% of the vote. HJR1 is a solution in search of a problem.
HJR1 is not good-government reform. Making the ballot initiative process even harder for citizens groups will have the opposite of the desired effect: it will make it almost impossible for anyone except big money special interests to successfully pass a ballot initiative in Ohio. Asking Ohioans to vote to eliminate simple majority-rule in favor of super-majority rule in Ohio is a blatant attack on direct democracy and citizen-led initiatives in Ohio.
I urge you to protect Ohio's majority-rule democracy. Be a voice of the people in a time when we are made to fight for our voices to be heard. VOTE NO on HJR1. Thank you for fighting for Ohioans and for protecting democracy.
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