Ohio voters reject “Issue 1”

August 8, 2023

Voters in Ohio during a hastily put together special election Tuesday rejected a Republican-backed measure that would have made it difficult to change the state constitution.

Issue 1, did not specifically deal with abortion, but it would have erected several hurdles against voters passing amendments to Ohio’s state constitution—including a proposed amendment in this November’s upcoming election that would guarantee abortion rights—in part by raising the threshold to pass an amendment from a simple majority to 60%.

In the 2022 midterm elections, AP VoteCast found that 59% of Ohio voters said abortion should be legal in most or all cases, just shy of that 60% mark.

Early voting ahead of Tuesday hit far higher numbers than in previous elections, made even more notable considering GOP lawmakers in the state of Ohio had voted last year to get rid of their August elections due to low turnout. 

Currently, Ohio has what the Guttmacher Institute deems a “restrictive” abortion law: a ban at 22 weeks of pregnancy, and those seeking abortions must make two trips before undergoing the procedure—one for in-person counseling and another at least 24 hours later for the abortion.

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