Last night, Ohio voters soundly rejected Issue 1. This mean-spirited Republican initiative would have toughened the rules for amending the state constitution, making constitutional amendments more difficult to pass. The Republicans’ immediate goal was to defeat a proposition on the docket for this November, which would enshrine abortion rights into the Ohio constitution. Instead, the Republican effort to stack the deck was an embarrassing failure.
The win in Ohio was, as described by one commentator last night, was a shellacking. With more than 1.2 million votes counted, 60% of Ohioans had voted no, compared with 40% who voted yes, according to the Ohio Secretary of State’s office. That margin was enough for the Associated Press and others to call the race.
The Ohio victory joins that of Kansas and Wisconsin in addition to the 2022 midterms in proving that Democratic voters will defend their interests in preserving basic freedoms, including reproductive, civil, and voting rights. The victories were won in both red and purple states, showing the power of Democratic ideals and grassroots power over autocracy.
So what are the Democrats’ take-homes?
- First, as political commentator Robert Hubbell put in his substack this morning, turnout matters!! The vote on Issue 1 was deliberately chosen by Republicans for August, a traditionally low turnout period, to cynically try to sneak the initiative through without the Democrats noticing. It failed – we noticed and responded with a high turnout.
- Second, grassroots power matters!! Grassroots volunteers contribute both muscle and funding. Every postcard you write, every text or call or donation you make, helps defeat Republican efforts to strip us of our democracy. With the Swing Blue Alliance Vote No in August campaign, which many of you participated in, 1,230 postcard writers sent election info to 40,000 Democratic voters. This translates into only 1-2 packets per writer, which is easily achievable.
So victory is sweet and motivates us to fight back fiercely to protect our constitutional rights. YOU helped to defeat this dangerous proposal. But we can’t rest on our laurels, we must keep up the pressure over the next year. We can do it through grassroots power!