OHIO (WJW) — Ohioans voted to reject Issue 1 in the Aug. 8 special election, the Associated Press called Tuesday night.
The decision would have changed the way the state amends its constitution for the first time in 100 years.
If the issue passed, future amendments to the state constitution would have needed a 60% affirmative vote to pass, rather than the simple majority of 50% plus one vote.
Additionally, petitioners looking to put an amendment on the ballot would have needed signatures from at least 5% of electors in the most recent gubernatorial election in each of Ohio’s 88 counties. Learn more about the issue here.
Ahead of the election, both sides were very busy trying to motivate their supporters, and early turnout was strong.
Statewide, nearly 700,000 people voted early. In some counties, Democrats turned out five times higher than Republicans to cast early ballots. Both sides said democracy and the state’s constitution were at stake.
Check out the results below:
Ohio Senator Sherrod Brown took to Twitter, saying, “By rejecting Issue 1, Ohioans rejected special interests and demanded that democracy remain where it belongs — in the hands of voters, not the rich and powerful. That is what has always guided me. I am proud to stand with Ohioans in this fight.”
Ohio Senate President Matt Huffman (R-Lima) issued the following statement:
“This was a fight worth having and tonight we sent a message that we were close, and will continue efforts to protect the Ohio Constitution from wealthy out of state special interests. This was a heavy lift and we needed ‘all hands-on deck,’ which disappointingly we didn’t have. The opposition had twice the money coming from NY, CA and D.C., and a head start. We really needed to turn out our base and needed more help doing that from current and former elected officials. Make no mistake, standing on the side of wealthy California special interests will only make our state vulnerable to these continued far left attacks.”
Cleveland Mayor Justin Bibb also released a statement:
“Over the past months, we built a movement across party lines and geography to protect our constitution and majority rule. This coalition proved that politicians can’t out-smart the people of Ohio and when we organize, we win. Leadership matters and that’s why I used every tool at my disposal to ensure the defeat of this anti-democratic issue from simply knocking on doors to contributing to putting a ‘vote no’ message in mailboxes across Cuyahoga County.
Tonight, we sent a strong message. Ohio doesn’t back down from a fight. When you come for our rights, we turn out in force. We will carry that same energy and momentum into protecting reproductive rights this Fall and into the battle for our democracy in 2024. There is no off year when our freedoms are on the line. I won’t give up this fight and with the results tonight, I know Ohio is with me.”
Later, Ohio Secretary of State Frank LaRose released the following statement:
“I’m grateful that nearly 1.3 million Ohioans stood with us in this fight, but this is only one battle in a long war. Unfortunately, we were dramatically outspent by dark money billionaires from California to New York, and the giant ‘for sale’ sign still hangs on Ohio’s constitution. Ohioans will see the devastating impact of this vote soon enough. The radical activists that opposed Issue 1 are already planning amendments to shut parents out of a child’s life-altering medical procedure, force job killing wage mandates on small businesses, prevent law abiding citizens from protecting their families and remove critical protections for our first responders. I’ve said for months now that there’s an assault coming on our constitution, and that hasn’t changed. I’m just getting started in the fight to protect Ohio’s values.”