Don’t relinquish rights: Vote ‘no’ on Issue 1


To the Editor:

The Aug. 8 special election is one of the most important elections ever conducted in Ohio. It is the first time that voters have been asked to approve a measure that would diminish rather than expand our rights. I cannot imagine why anyone would want fewer rights.

Issue 1 is the only item on the Aug. 8 ballot ( If passed, it would immediately require that proposed amendments to the state constitution receive the approval of 60% of those voting. Currently, proposed constitutional amendments require a majority, which is 50% plus 1 support from the voters.

Legislators have given several reasons for raising the threshold to pass constitutional amendments. For example, it has been suggested that Ohio should join 35 other states that have a 60% threshold.

This idea defies logic — why would we want to surrender rights that we have had for more than 100 years just to join citizens of other states who probably envy the power Ohio citizens enjoy? I have no desire to “follow the crowd” by relinquishing my rights.

Another suggestion is that the higher threshold would protect the people of Ohio from out-of-state special interests. That argument rings hollow in view of the fact that the campaign for Issue 1 is being bankrolled by Dick Uihlein, an Illinois billionaire (

A reason stated by state legislator Brian Stewart is more to the point. He “wants to make it harder for another anti-gerrymandering amendment to pass” (

Rumor has it that the special election is being held to make it more difficult for voters to pass a proposal for reproductive health care that might be on the Nov. 8 ballot.

Manipulating elections to ensure an outcome that the minority of voters support is not the way democracy is supposed to work. The ethical approach would be to leave the election system in place, put the proposed amendment on the ballot, provide opportunity for voters to vote, and let the majority rule.

Please vote ‘no’ on Aug. 8. If you are going to be away on Election Day, you can vote early in-person or by absentee ballot starting Tuesday (

Vote as though your constitutional rights — and those of your children — depend on it, because they do.

Janet Parks

Bowling Green

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