Ohio Proposes Change to State’s Constitutional Amendment Process

Revived measure to require 60% for Ohio constitutional amendments gets first hearing

After eliminating August special elections months ago, Republican lawmakers now look to bring them back for this proposal

Rep. Brian Stewart, R-Ashville, brought forward a similar proposal in the waning days of the last general assembly. That effort fell short, but he promised to try again.

Organizers criticize the higher threshold as subverting a century-old democratic right, a craven attempt to forestall amendments related to abortion and redistricting, and just plain old short-sighted.

The new resolution carries a pair of even more stringent provisions. Stewart explained the additions in January alongside a couple dozen co-sponsors.

“The new version would require that signatures come from all 88 counties instead of just 44,” Stewart said. “If an amendment is going to apply to every Ohio and then every community should have a hand in putting that potential constitution amendment on the ballot.”

In addition to that signature gathering hurdle, Stewart added another. His measure eliminates the “cure” period in which organizers can collect additional signatures if they fall short.

Nick Evans Ohio Capital Journal