Columbus, OH — Today, Ohio Secretary of State Frank LaRose announced that a top legislative priority in 2023 will be to enact a supermajority threshold for ballot measure passage, requiring 60% approval instead of a simple majority. In response, Fairness Project Executive Director Kelly Hall released the following statement:
“Let’s be clear about what this announcement means: Ohio Republicans are planning a power grab next year in order to diminish voters’ power at the ballot box. They know voters don’t agree with them on the issues, so they are changing the rules of the game.
“Since the fall of Roe, voters have chosen to defend reproductive rights at the ballot box in Kansas, Kentucky, Vermont, California, Michigan, and Montana — just the latest in a string of progressive victories won through ballot measures in recent years. Now, extremist officials in Ohio, who passed one of the strictest abortion bans in the country, are wasting no time to shut down the ballot measure process as a path for voters to ensure their reproductive freedom.
“This is not an original idea from Secretary LaRose. Legislators in Arkansas, Missouri, Oklahoma, and South Dakota tried to pass supermajority thresholds for ballot measures this year. They failed, but unfortunately a 60% threshold for ballot measures in Arizona succeeded, and we expect to see many more copycat attacks on the ballot measure process next year.
“Last year the Fairness Project started its Ballot Measure Rescue Campaign to defend against attacks like these, and has so far succeeded in organizing over $5.6 million to fight back. At a time when reproductive rights, access to health care, economic security, and more are on the line, we are laser-focused on defeating these transparent attempts to entrench minority rule and strip away voters’ rights.”