Secretary of State LaRose continues to do a fine job for the State of Ohio, particularly in the area of elections. However, it is not the job description, nor the responsibility of the Secretary of State to invent policy initiatives that will impact Constitutional law and the right of Ohioans to amend their constitution for generations to come.
The Secretary’s proposal to the Legislature to amend the Constitution regarding Constitutional Amendments is more than short-sighted. Requiring a 60% voter supermajority to pass a ballot measure breaks the intention and balance of the Ohio Constitution, which has been working effectively since the early 1900’s. There is no citizen outcry for such a measure. This is strictly inside-baseball among the political elites in Columbus.
There is a much simpler way to reach the goal of greater citizen representation in ballot initiatives and amendments. The Legislature can amend the Constitution to permit ballot initiatives and amendments to appear on the ballot only in the fall of even-numbered election years, where voter turnout is always higher than off-election years. This is a ready improvement to the process and one that the American Policy Roundtable has been advocating for decades. We urge the Legislature to consider this measure.
The American Policy Roundtable, founded in 1980 and headquartered in Valley City, Ohio has been one of the most active organizations on ballot issues in Ohio history. The Roundtable led the first successful citizen campaign to pass three Constitutional amendments for term limits to the Ohio Constitution in 1992. Roundtable ballot efforts have also included education policy, tax issues, campaign finance reform and casino gambling. The Roundtable is an independent, non-profit, non-partisan public policy organization.