The elderly couple live on a different floor in our building. As they got into the elevator, they flashed their “I voted” stickers and asked Sally and I if we had, too. Of course. We always vote by mail. They wanted to know our thoughts. The husband admitted that they had been confused. They had seen all of the commercials on TV. I briefly explained the basics and they were both relieved. He explained that they had been unsure about the truth, but they knew they could spot the lies. They had voted NO. I let them know that Issue 1 was going down in flames.
Webster’s Dictionary defines the word “overreach” with a picture of the Ohio Republican Party. Heavily gerrymandered, our state has Republican supermajorities in both the Ohio House and Senate. That is pretty amazing for a state that is about 55% Republican. No matter how much power they have amassed, it is never enough. The citizens of our state had the nerve to challenge the legislatures’ fixation on women’s bodies and sought to amend the Ohio Constitution. The goal was to restore the rights lost with last year’s Dobbs Decision. Instead of moderating Ohio’s extreme legislation to find a way to more closely reflect the will of Ohio’s voters, our elected leaders tried to change the rules in the middle of the fight. That cynical ploy was Issue One.
This wasn’t the first example of Republican overreach. I reminded my Republican friends of the time the Republicans tried to destroy the public employee unions, 2011’s Senate Bill 5. In November 2011 the voters of Ohio stomped all over Governor Kasich and overturned the law. The final tally from this past Tuesday’s vote will rival that of 2011.
Desperate to win, the proponents of Issue 1 tried several arguments:
- It will make it harder to amend our constitution.
- Abortion! Abortion! Abortion!
- We must protect the Ohio Constitution from out-of-state special interests.
- We will lose control of our children and they will all become Trans!
Needless to say, the shrillness of the ads promoting these arguments were very persuasive to the people who already wanted to vote in favor of Issue 1. When talking with anti-abortion groups, Ohio Secretary of State Frank LaRose claimed that Issue 1 was 100% about abortion. To the general public he presented a more balanced, if not completely honest, view. The most amusing was #3. Protect Our Constitution received $4,000,000 from Illinois billionaire Richard Uihlein.
Over 3 million Ohioans casted their votes on Tuesday. Close to 60%, a clear majority, voted for majority rule. This won’t impact our gerrymandered legislature, yet, but it will serve as a reminder. Our citizens aren’t always sure of the truth, but they sure can spot a lie.
Picture – OhiO – David L Cunix