The Ashtabula County Republican Party’s Executive Committee has voted to endorse Issue 1, which is on the August 8th ballot. This is a proposed Constitutional Amendment elevating the standards to pass a Constitutional Amendment from 50% TO 60% and requiring that ALL 88 counties have 5% of the electors sign a petition to place a Constitutional Amendment on the ballot. It also requires that additional signatures cannot be added to the initiative petition once filed with the Secretary of State’s office.
The opposition to Issue 1 has been very successful in confusing voters and deflecting their real intentions with regard to defeating Issue 1.
Our Constitution is the bedrock on which our system of Government functions. All three branches of Government must adhere to the Constitution. Unfortunately, in our State, our Constitution can be amended based on the political winds of the time and a 50% plus one vote. This is a dangerous proposition. Our Constitution should be a stable guiding document like the US Constitution which takes a two/thirds majority to amend (67%). The US Constitution has only been amended 27 times in 235 years, and only 8 times in the last century, once or twice a generation. Our State Constitution has been amended 172 times, almost all of which have been in the last century, once or twice a year.
What are the majority of these amendments? Pork projects and setups for powerful monopolies that punish small businesses and create untouchable legislation that cannot be tweaked legislatively no matter how flawed it may be (remember the redistricting nightmare last year?).
The problem is it is too easy to change our Constitution. The opposition says Issue 1 attacks democracy when in fact it protects it. The Constitution should ONLY be changed if a supermajority of the citizens demand it.
The opposition also claims that Issue 1 makes it more difficult for citizens to get a proposal on the ballot. This is misleading and FALSE. Citizen-based groups can still collect signatures and put a proposal on the ballot to create a law or even hold a referendum to overturn a law passed by lawmakers. The vote on this proposal would be a simple majority (50% plus 1). This is outlined in Article II of the Ohio Constitution.
In addition, currently, only 44 of the 88 counties in Ohio can petition to change the Ohio Constitution. In effect, the larger counties have more say with regards to what amendments we vote on while the smaller counties must take a back seat to their demands. You wouldn’t want states like California and New York dictating how we run our state, would you? This is exactly what is happening in our state right now.
For those that say Issue 1 is attacking democracy, how can it be when it is on the ballot on August 8th and will be passed by the majority of the voters! Majority rules.
We encourage you to vote yes on Issue 1.
Ashtabula County Republican Party Executive Committee