June 23, 2024

Special Election Foreshadows Ohio’s November Abortion Battle

The Ohio special election held on Aug. 8, 2023, has affected the upcoming general election on Nov. 7, 2023. The special election was in creation a blocking mechanism for the general election ballot issues. The special election Issue #1 has been blocked by voters and leaves the general elections up in air for the majority party.

Issue 1 in the special election was created with the intent to influence the November general election. Although they held the elections close in the year, they have different issues on the ballot. 

GOP-backed Issue 1 in the special election was directly correlated with the upcoming November election that has an abortion issue on the ballot. 

The face of the special election, Republican Secretary of State Frank Larose, said, “This is 100% about keeping our radical pro-abortion amendment out of our constitution. The left wants to jam it in there this coming November,” reported by the Statehouse News Bureau. 

The surveys by USA Today/Suffolk University polled 500 likely voters in July and found that 58% supported a constitutional amendment that would add abortion protections through Issue 1 in November. Many surveys showed abortion laws not breaking a 60% threshold, but still gaining a majority. If Issue 1 were to pass in the special election, it would be harder to get the 60% of the votes needed for general elections. 

Issue 1 in the August special election was amending the process laws would become passed in Ohio. 

Voting Yes would require every law passed to receive at least a 60% supermajority to go into effect. This would give far more power to the minority, as laws would need more support from the general population to be put into action, raising the threshold.

Voting No would deny the request to override our traditional law-making process and would maintain our current process. 

The results for the August special election showed 57% voting No to maintain our current law-passing process and 43% for raising the threshold. 

As #VotingNo popularized through the state and made national news, the coverage for the upcoming November election is still underway. 

The citizen initiative constitutional amendment Issue 1 on the ballot in the upcoming election on November 7th, 2023, titled “The Right to Reproductive Freedom with Protections for Health and Safety,” would return Ohio to the Roe v. Wade time period it once had. 

Voting Yes on the November election’s Issue 1 would give individuals the right to make their own decisions about their reproductive rights. This would provide stabilities for abortion and contraceptives to be guaranteed in the constitution. 

This bill is designed to counteract Ohio’s heartbeat bill—which criminalizes abortions once a heartbeat is detected. The bill was put into effect immediately after the overturning of Roe vs Wade in the Supreme Court. Now with the elections coming up voters made a priority adding Issue #1 protections for abortion on the ballot. 

Voting Yes would align more with values held by pro-choice individuals. Supporters for Issue #1 are the Ohio Democratic Party, ACLU of Ohio, Planned Parenthood Advocates of Ohio and Ohio Women’s Alliance, according to ballotpedia.org

Voting No on Issue #1 would deny any time extensions abortions can take place. Voting No would keep abortions and contraceptives in its restrictive state. 

Voting No would align more with values held by pro-life individuals that oppose abortions. Those that are showing support for voting No are the Ohio Republican Party, Ohio Right to Life and Right to Life Action Coalition of Ohio.

The results of Ohioans’ votes on Issue #1 will decide the state’s position on reproductive rights and send a powerful signal about the course of these critical issues on a national level as people get ready to cast their ballots on November 7th.

All over Ohio, citizens are voicing their democratic rights and letting it be known they’re voting in these impending elections with a surge of yard signs. 

According to the Clark County Board Of Elections, the deadline to register to vote for the general election held on Nov. 7, 2023, is Oct. 10, 2023. 

Registering to vote can be done in three ways: online, by mail, and in person. These are linked below to help navigate. 


  • Sagel Gurreh

    Sagel is a second year Communications & Philosophy major. She is Class Senator & Committee Chair in Student Government, an Exec for the Muslim Student Association and Creative Writing Club, and an Alternative RA. In her free time, she loves to write.

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