History of One Person One Vote
We Are Ohio worked with a broad, diverse coalition of individuals and organizations to stop extreme lawmakers, Secretary of State Frank LaRose and Gov. Mike DeWine from taking away our fundamental right to change our Ohio Constitution with a 50-plus one majority vote.
LAME DUCK 2022
Right after the election in November, 2022, LaRose and state Rep. Brian Stewart, R-Circleville, announced they were going to raise the threshold to pass an amendment to the Ohio Constitution to 60 percent instead of the 50-plus one standard.
LaRose, who lied to workers and said he was a “no” vote as an Ohio senator in 2011 before voting for SB 5 to try to strip us of our collective bargaining rights, was lying again when he claimed he wanted to stop the hijacking of our Ohio Constitution by “out-of-state” special interests billionaires. LaRose and the 60-percent threshold plan was being funded by an Illinois billionaire.
We Are Ohio, working with good government groups like the League of Women Voters of Ohio and Common Cause Ohio, put together a coalition of 160 organizations. We held a press conference with more than 700 people at the Statehouse representing the coalition. Each organization put the number of Ohioans they represented on a piece of paper and then one by one folded the paper and deposited it in a ballot box to represent the hundreds of thousands of votes against the 60-percent threshold. House Speaker Bob Cupp, R-Lima, announced later that same day that LaRose’s amendment idea was dead.
LaRose and Stewart reintroduced their bad idea when lawmakers returned for a new session in January. We grew our grass roots, citizen-driven, non-partisan coalition to 260 organizations, and the legislature failed to meet a Feb. 1 deadline to put the 60-percent threshold on the ballot for the May primary.
LaRose and Stewart were not done. They were now getting help from Senate President Matt Huffman, R-Lima.
They announced plans to put the change to the Ohio Constitution on the ballot in August in a special election even though they passed a law in November, 2022 to ban August special elections because they wasted millions of dollars, voter turnout was low and they insisted at the time that decisions should not be made by a small number of voters.
Now, they were going to try to sneak the 60-percent threshold through in an August special election with low voter turnout and waste more than $20 million of taxpayer money in the process.
We Are Ohio and the coalition of 260 organizations went to work. First, we tried to stop the legislature from passing a resolution to put the amendment change before voters, and we almost killed the idea in the Ohio House. It passed narrowly by two votes.
MAY-AUGUST: The No on Issue 1 Campaign
We had a short window of opportunity to let voters in Ohio know there was a special election in August that would strip them of a right they had for 112 years.
Issue 1 would have permanently ended majority rule in Ohio, giving 40 percent of voters the ability to veto the will of the people
It was even more draconian. Issue 1 would have made it almost impossible for citizens to mount petition campaigns to change the Ohio Constitution when lawmakers tried to harm workers or ignored the will of the people by increasing the hurdles for collecting signatures.
We went to work. The One Person One Vote campaign starting knocking on hundreds of thousands of doors and voters were angry that their basic fundamental rights were under attack.
We Are Ohio, along with the League of Women Voters, Common Cause and faith leaders, held press conferences in medium-sized and small towns across Ohio to raise awareness.
We also held six Protect Majority Rule Rallies in Ohio’s largest cities where hundreds of voters turned out to learn more about Issue 1 and express their opposition to this attack on our democracy.
LaRose, Stewart, Huffman, DeWine and Steve Stivers, President of the Ohio Chamber of Commerce, wanted to sneak the amendment past voters, but we turned out Ohioans in record numbers for an August election.