Plan to demand approval of 60% of Ohio’s constitutional amendments could get vote in August

The groups are gathering signatures for a constitutional amendment on reproductive rights that they hope to put on the ballot in November. Meanwhile, a hearing is scheduled for Wednesday on a Republican-backed plan to require constitutional amendments to be approved by 60% of voters, rather than a simple majority as is now in law.

And a key Republican leader is suggesting that a possible statewide vote on an amendment to the 60% requirement could take place this summer before an abortion amendment can be voted on this fall.

The August elections were canceled due to a law that will take effect next month that requires voters to show a photo ID. But Senate President Matt Huffman (R-Lima) could still hold a statewide snap election in August to vote on a proposal to require 60% of voters approve constitutional amendments.

“The answer is yes. I think that we, of course, have removed the August primaries as by-elections. But we have a lot of snap elections, whether it’s for Congress, and it seems to me that when we were dealing with redistricting ten years ago, we actually had two primaries, one in May and one in June because of problems with Congressional map and stuff like that,” Huffman said. “So I think it can be put up for early elections in August.”

While the measure, which requires 60% voter approval, is a House resolution, House Speaker Jason Stevens (R-Kitts Hill) said he had not heard of plans for a vote in August.

“No. I know there’s a hearing tomorrow, so it’ll be interesting to see questions and comments on that. And I’m glad that the hearing will finally take place,” Stevens said.

The Republican chairman of the committee considering the resolution announced earlier this month that it would not meet until further notice.

The sponsor of the amendment to the 60% requirement said in a letter in December that it could end efforts to secure access to abortion and changes to Ohio’s constitution.

The ordinance will also make other changes, such as requiring the signatures of all 88 districts, rather than 44 as in the current law. And it will eliminate the 10-day period during which backers can get more signatures if their initial drive doesn’t match the number of valid signatures they need.

A coalition of over 140 groups protested a similar belated resolution.
last year.

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