New Push To Change Ohio’s Ballot Amendment Process
This week, Ohio Representative Kyle Koehler sent a letter to fellow lawmakers seeking cosponsors for a bill he’s introducing to change how constitutional amendments go to the ballot. And like the proposal that was considered during this winter’s lame duck session, it certainly looks as though it will primarily work by making it harder for grassroots citizens groups to put measures on the ballot. According to Koehler, his bill has several key distinctions from HJR19, namely: In sum, the Koehler plan would require signatures from more parts of the state, requiring signature gatherers to fan out into 60 of Ohio’s 99 House districts, compared to today’s requirement that signatures be collected in 44 of Ohio’s 88 counties. Additionally, the proposal reduces the number of signatures that could be gathered in Ohio’s biggest population centers by increasing the percentage of the electorate needed in each district, further spreading the work out across the state.