News & Blog

06.22.23

On August 8: Vote NO on Issue 1

There is a special election on August 8 to vote on State Issue 1. We urge our members to vote NO and to make a plan to vote on or before August 8.

What is Issue 1?

Issue 1 is a proposed amendment to Ohio’s state constitution that would make it drastically more difficult to amend the state constitution in the future. It asks voters to vote against their own voting power by overturning the concept of “one person, one vote.”

Issue 1 would increase the threshold for proposed constitutional amendments to be approved from a simple majority to a 60% supermajority. It enables minority rule in Ohio.

Issue 1 would also increase the signature threshold for an amendment to be placed on the ballot from 5% of voters in 44 counties to 5% of voters in all 88 counties. This in and of itself makes it nearly impossible to get a constitutional amendment on the ballot, let alone pass it.

Issue 1 would remove the 10 day period for petitioners to gather additional signatures for a constitutional amendment if they filed an insufficient number of valid signatures.

Where did Issue 1 originate?

Issue 1 was pushed by an Illinois billionaire and special interests groups that are trying to prevent certain constitutional amendments from passing this November. This is an underhanded attempt to thwart the will of a majority of Ohioans.

Issue 1 was initiated by the Ohio General Assembly via Senate Joint Resolution 2 (SJR 2). SJR 2 passed the Ohio Senate on a party-line vote and passed the Ohio House of Representatives mostly along party lines, but with a handful of Republicans joining Democrats in voting no. Resolutions do not need to have the governor’s approval; so once it was passed by both chambers, it was primed for the ballot.

Typically, this kind of constitutional amendment would have appeared on either a general or primary election ballot. However, there was a separate piece of legislation, Senate Bill 92, which created the special August 8 election for what is now State Issue 1. Because August elections traditionally have very low turnout, the aim is clearly to enable a small minority of registered voters to prevent passage of amendments that would have majority support in regularly scheduled elections.

Issue 1 is short-sighted and undemocratic, and it has broad bipartisan opposition. Former Ohio Supreme Court Chief Justice Maureen O’Connor, a Republican, said this about the proposed constitutional amendment: “It’s misleading, it’s deceptive, and if it weren’t so serious, it would be laughable. When you keep changing the rules and moving the goalposts, you are intentionally silencing the vote of the people.”

Why is the Ohio Conference AAUP involved in Issue 1?

Education, including higher education, is critical to a functioning democracy. Faculty have a role in promoting an educated citizenry and democratic participation. Very simply, Issue 1 is undemocratic. It would end majority rule and make it virtually impossible for voters to propose changes to Ohio’s constitution. This would affect our ability to potentially make constitutional changes in the future that protect education and union rights. We join a broad bipartisan coalition of unions, associations, and former elected officials in opposing Issue 1 and urging Ohioans to vote no on or before August 8.

Prepare to Vote

Click here to access the Ohio Secretary of State’s website to register to vote, to check your registration, to update your registration, or to request an absentee ballot for the August 8 election.

Voter ID Rules

Voter identification requirements in Ohio have very recently changed. Please ensure that you have the proper ID when heading to the polls.

Per the Ohio Secretary of State’s website:

There are several types of valid photo identification.

  • Ohio driver’s license;
  • State of Ohio ID card;
  • Interim ID form issued by the Ohio BMV;
  • A US passport;
  • A US passport card;
  • US military ID card;
  • Ohio National Guard ID card; or
  • US Department of Veterans Affairs ID card

All photo IDs must have the following:

  • An expiration date that has not passed;
  • A photograph of the voter;
  • The voter’s name, which must substantially conform to the voter’s name as it appears in the Poll List or in the Poll Book

NOTICE: An unexpired Ohio Driver’s License, State ID Card, or Interim Documentation with your former address IS an ACCEPTABLE form of ID when your current address is in the pollbook.

Key Dates

July 10 — Voter registration deadline.

July 11 — Early voting begins, by mail and in person. You can request an absentee ballot online at www.ohiosos.gov/ or call your county board of elections.

Dates & hours for voting at your county Board of Elections office:

July 11-14, 17-21, 24-28: 8:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m.

July 31: 7:30 a.m.-7:30 p.m.

Aug. 1: 7:30 a.m.-8:30 p.m.

Aug. 2-4: 7:30 a.m.-7:30 p.m.

Aug. 5: 8:00 a.m.-4:00 p.m.

Aug. 6: 1:00-5:00 p.m.

Aug. 1 — Vote by mail ballot application deadline.

Aug. 7 — Vote by mail ballot postmark deadline.

Aug. 8 — Special Election Day. Polls open 6:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m.

MAKE YOUR PLAN TO VOTE NO ON ISSUE 1!

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