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2022 Election Hub · April 24, 2023

Get the Facts: Senate Joint Resolution 2

Ohio Senate Joint Resolution 2, a constitutional amendment proposal that would change the threshold for passing new amendments to the state constitution. If passed by the voters on August 8th, the amendment would increase the required vote to 60% of the electorate, up from the current simple majority threshold. This proposal has generated significant debate and discussion among Ohioans, with opinions divided on whether the higher threshold would help or hinder the democratic process.

To help voters understand the Facts vs. Myths in this important debate, Innovation Ohio has provided the following overview. Whether you’re a staunch supporter of the change or a skeptic of its effects, this overview will be a valuable resource for voters who want to make an informed decision at the ballot box.

SJR 2 Facts

SJR 2 are legislative proposals that would increase the votes required to enact new constitutional amendments to 60%, up from a simple majority (50% +1).

Unfortunately, there has been a lot of misinformation used to gain support for these proposals. Here are the facts.

Since 1912, 19 constitutional amendments have been intimated by citizens, while legislators have initiated a whopping 108. Since 2022, 14 of 19 originated in the legislature.

In reality, most citizen-proposed constitutional amendments fail. Since 1912, 69 constitutional amendments have been proposed, and only 19 have passed, making for a success rate of 27.5%.

There has also been an emphasis from backers of SJR2 on the influence of deep-pocketed special interests in amending Ohio’s constitution, but there is no correlation between the amount spent on a citizen ballot initiative and its chance of passing. Successful campaigns have actually spent less, on average, than the backers of failed campaigns.

$11.2 million is the average amount spent on successful citizen ballot measure,  compared to an average of $16.7 million on failed citizen ballot measures. 

  • Washington requires 50%+1 except amendments about gambling and lottery laws require 60%
  • Arizona requires 50%+1 except amendments that raise taxes or impose fees require 60%
  • Illinois requires 60%; or a measure can pass with 50% of all votes cast in the election.
  • Nevada requires a majority vote (50%+1) in two successive elections
  • Oregon requires 50%+1 but 50% voter turnout in the election
  • Massachusetts requires 50%+1 and 30% of those voting in that election
  • Nebraska requires 50%+1 AND 35% of the total votes cast in that election
  • Mississippi requires 50%+1 AND 40’% of the total votes cast in that election
  • Wyoming requires 50%+1 AND 50% of the total votes cast in that election

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