No to HJR 6
Protect Direct Democracy
What’s this campaign all about?
Secretary of State Frank LaRose and Representative Brian Stewart recently announced an effort to change the Ohio Constitution in order to make it harder for Ohio citizens to successfully pass ballot initiatives. The effort would be unpopular with Ohio voters, is clearly undemocratic, and grossly unfair as it proposes to raise the percentage of yes votes required for a successful ballot measure to 60 percent.
Ohio has a time-honored tradition of citizen campaigns. Since 1912, Ohioans from across the political spectrum have utilized the right to amend our Constitution via the petition process. We are proud to live in a state that gives voters the right to direct democracy and the ability to have a real say in politics. We see no justifiable reason, after over 100 years, to suddenly make this already challenging process even harder.
Proposals like this are extremely unpopular with voters, even in more conservative states. A proposal to require a supermajority for passage was handily defeated by the voters of Arkansas just a few weeks ago, and the voters of South Dakota repudiated one in June, 2022.
Citizen-initiated ballot campaigns are already difficult to get on the ballot, requiring hundreds of thousands of verified signatures and a strict geographical distribution across at least half of Ohio’s 88 counties.
The process is not overused. There hasn’t been a citizen initiated ballot measure before voters since 2018. Over the past 10 years, there were only four elections with ballot measures through signature collection. In the past 50 years, there were 28 years without a citizen initiative on the ballot.
This is NOT a good-government reform. Making the ballot initiative process even harder for citizens groups will have the opposite of the desired effect: it will make it almost impossible for anyone except big money special interests to successfully pass a ballot initiative in Ohio.
This attack on direct democracy must be stopped. Secretary LaRose and Rep. Stewart’s proposed change would only weaken the power of Ohio citizens at the ballot box. That’s why we’re asking you to take action now and oppose HJR 6.