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BlueWaveNeverEnd

(8,744 posts)
Thu Nov 24, 2022, 11:53 AM Nov 2022

REPUBLICANS LOST BIG ON ABORTION BALLOT MEASURES. NOW THEY'RE TRYING TO CHANGE THE RULES [View all]

REPUBLICANS LOST BIG ON ABORTION BALLOT MEASURES. NOW THEY’RE TRYING TO CHANGE THE RULES
Ohio’s Republican secretary of state says a proposal to make it harder to pass ballot initiatives isn’t about abortion. But as Ohio advocates debate a possible abortion ballot measure, liberal advocates are calling it “a power grab.”

Republicans, perhaps coming to terms with the unpopularity of their antiabortion agenda, seem to be grasping for a new playbook. Republicans in Ohio want to make it harder to amend the state constitution via ballot initiative, which abortion advocates say is a blatant attempt to block voter-driven efforts to enshrine reproductive protections in state rights.

“Ohio’s constitution has been far too susceptible to efforts by outside groups and special interests seeking to alter the people’s constitution to achieve their own ends,” Republican state representative Brian Stewart said, according to The Columbus Dispatch. With the backing of Frank LaRose, the Republican Ohio secretary of state, Stewart has introduced a resolution that would require a supermajority of Ohioans, 60%—as opposed to the current threshold of 50% plus one vote—to change the state constitution.

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The Fairness Project, an organization that backs progressive ballot measures, was quick to condemn the effort. “Let’s be clear about what this announcement means: Ohio Republicans are planning a power grab next year in order to diminish voters’ power at the ballot box,” executive director Kelly Hall said in a statement. “They know voters don’t agree with them on the issues, so they are changing the rules of the game.”

Even LaRose’s own statement regarding the supermajority proposal arguably belies the claim that the current threshold has left Ohio susceptible to the grip of special interests. As he noted, of the 16 petition-based amendments that have been proposed in the state since 2000, only five have passed. And abortion is a particularly controversial issue in the Buckeye state. Ohio’s Republican governor, Mike DeWine, signed one of the strictest abortion bans in 2019, which went into effect when Roe v. Wade fell. A so-called heartbeat bill, it makes abortion illegal after about six-weeks of pregnancy with no exceptions for rape or incest, but has since been blocked by the courts. According to the Dispatch, abortion rights advocates in the state are currently debating whether to put the issue on the ballot in 2023 or 2024.

https://www.vanityfair.com/news/2022/11/republicans-abortion-ballot-measures-ohio

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