COLUMBUS, OH–Ohio’s Special Election took place on Aug. 8, deciding the future fate of the abortion amendment in the state. Voters took to the polls defeating State Issue 1. The proposal could have raised the voter threshold to 60 percent and could have rid the 10-day cure period for citizen-led amendments to get on the Ohio ballot and change the Ohio Constitution. Right now, there is a simple majority of 50 % plus one to enact possible changes to the statewide constitution.
State Issue 1 could have made it more difficult to change the Ohio Constitution. For example, Ohio deals with an abortion proposal in this upcoming November election. The reproductive rights proposal could make abortion legal in Ohio which is a very right-winged state. Meanwhile, the wording of the proposal would enshrine reproductive decisions into the Ohio Constitution.
Supporters of State Issue 1 who voted yes on the proposal said it would protect the state’s constitution from special interest groups trying to put forth changes in Ohio’s Constitution.
There are many states across the country which have succeeded in legalizing the reproductive rights effort. For instance; Michigan, California, Kansas, Kentucky, Montana, and even Vermont all have legalized reproductive rights enshrined into their statewide constitutions.
In Ohio, abortion is legal up to 22 weeks of pregnancy as it currently stands. The amendment could allow abortions up to nearly 25 weeks of pregnancy.
However, The battle ahead of the August Special Election split the community in half. Many Muslim groups stood to vote “No” on State Issue 1 possibly changing the way to get citizen-led amendments to Ohio’s Constitution. Many religious groups were divided on the issue citing that it could negatively affect Ohioans.
CAIR-OHIO held several informative educational meetings spreading the basic information of what the proposal could do if passed ahead of the election. The group continued its effort telling Ohioans that the proposal could have silenced voices who want to implement change.
The group brought together the entire Muslim community across Central Ohio to emphasize how important Muslim votes are, and the impact they can have on the law of the land.
According to CAIR-OHIO in an issued press release: “Pamphlets and handouts distributed during the event provided a comparison of the current and proposed constitutional amendment processes. It underscored the serious risk posed by Issue 1, as it threatens the democratic rights of citizens and hinders the ability to make necessary changes when our legislature fails to act in the best interest of its constituents.”
The group also educated Muslims on the newer voter ID laws that are in place—for example, bringing a state-issued ID to the polls to vote.
“Yesterday, united against adversity, we stood strong. The defeat of Issue 1 wasn’t just a vote, but a resounding ‘NO’ to discrimination, injustice, and the erosion of our rights. Our unity protected our democracy’s essence, proving that when voices join, they triumph. We celebrate this win, and know that we have much more work ahead of us to defeat the corruption of our legislature,” CAIR-Ohio Outreach Director Victoria Hickcox said in a statement.
Now, preparations begin for the November election months away to vote on legalization of recreational marijuana, and reproductive rights.