Let’s Keep One Person One Vote In Ohio: Vote “No” On Issue 1

On May 10th, Senate Joint Resolution 2 was passed by the House and Senate. This bill proposes an amendment to the Ohio Constitution, to appear on the ballot at a special election on August 8, 2023.

Issue 1 would:

  • Require any future constitutional amendment to be approved by at least 60% of the voters.
  • Require signatures of at least 5% of the electors in each of the 88 counties, instead of 44 counties.
  • Eliminate the 10-day period to file additional signatures for an initiated constitutional amendment.

This proposed amendment destroys the principle of “One Person, One Vote.” Without a doubt, Issue 1 oppresses the individual rights of all voters.

Don’t be fooled by the drafters’ ruse of falsely titling Issue 1 “elevating the standards to qualify for and to pass any constitutional amendment.” Should Issue 1 pass, the standards would not be “elevated”—instead, they will be utterly eradicated. The current standard for passing constitutional amendments is by a simple majority (50%+1). This standard has been inscribed into the Ohio Constitution since 1912 and has been the way in which our state has voted for the past 111 years. Ohio is still governed as a democracy. By definition, the word “democracy” means “rule by the people”—this means that our government relies on the participation of the people in the political process in order to function properly. However, our democracy would be thwarted by the implementation of Issue 1, insomuch as the approval of Issue 1 would give extremist legislators an almost absolute power to assert their control over Ohioans and the state legislature by passing their own nefarious bills without much penalty while ignoring the demands of voters. Outside groups are bankrolling Issue 1 because if it passes—the not-everyday citizens will be the only ones to be able to bring forward ballot measures.

It’s imperative that Ohioans vote to protect our freedom and are registered to vote by July 10th in order to vote in the August 8th election. It is no surprise, however, that the gerrymandered super-majority has attempted to make it increasingly more difficult to cast a vote in Ohio. In order to vote in person, Ohio law now requires a valid, unexpired photo ID (this includes a driver’s license, state ID card from the BMV, military ID card, or U.S. passport). Voting by mail doesn’t require a photo ID, and you can go to VoteOhio.gov to register for an absentee ballot with your current address.

Protect your rights as Ohio voters. Let’s keep “One Person, One Vote” in Ohio and vote “No” on Issue 1—your vote can and will determine the future of Ohio.

Nickie Antonio

State Senator Nickie J. Antonio (D-Lakewood) is honored to be serving in the Ohio Senate, representing District 23, and in leadership as the Minority Leader. Antonio, who was elected to the Senate in 2018, previously spent eight years in the Ohio House of Representatives, where she served District 13 and was also a member of leadership. Antonio has served as a Lakewood City Councilmember, Executive Director of an outpatient drug and alcohol treatment program for women, Adjunct Professor and a teacher for children with special needs.

Antonio serves as Highest Ranking Member on the Senate Health, Transportation, Select Committee on Rail Safety and Rules and Reference Committees. Additionally, she is a member of the Ohio House Democratic Women's Caucus, previously as chair, and is the State Director for the National Women Legislators’ Lobby.

She has been a dedicated champion of workers’ rights, high-quality education, local governments, equal rights for women and the LGBT community, health care for all and fighting the opioid crisis.

Antonio is recognized as a leader who reaches across the aisle to get things done. As a result, she championed Ohio’s historic adoption open records law (S.B. 23/H.B. 61) and step therapy reform law (S.B. 265/H.B. 72). Last General Assembly, Antonio passed legislation to abolish the shackling of pregnant inmates (S.B. 18/H.B. 1) and to require pharmacist education for dispensing life-saving naloxone (S.B. 59/H.B. 341). During her tenure in the Ohio legislature, Antonio introduced the Ohio Fairness Act, which would provide civil rights protections for members of the LGBTQ community. She continues to work to remedy and end Ohio’s use of the death penalty, as well as on an array of other bills focused on improving the lives of all Ohioans. Antonio continues to be an established expert in health policy in the General Assembly. 

The first in her family to graduate from college, she holds both an MPA and a B.S. Ed. from Cleveland State University, and she was named a CSU Distinguished Alumni in 2013. She is also an alumnus and Bohnett Fellow of the Kennedy School Harvard Leadership Program (2011) and has been the recipient of numerous awards as legislator of the year from various organizations during her tenure.

Her daughters, Ariel and Stacey, have made Antonio and her wife, Jean Kosmac, very proud as the girls engage in their adult life journeys.

Volume 15, Issue 8, Posted 10:45 AM, 08.01.2023