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The push for an Ohio August special election is running out of time

A hand holds an Ohio Voted sticker outside a polling site
Jo Ingles
Statehouse News Bureau
A hand holds an Ohio Voted sticker outside a polling site.

The May primary has just finished, but Republican lawmakers in Columbus are still working to get a proposed amendment before voters. The measure seeks to make it more difficult to amend the state constitution. If passed, the measure would require that constitutional amendments be passed with 60% of the vote or more. Currently, citizens can vote to approve amendments with a simple 50% plus one vote majority.

Republican backers say the measure is needed to protect the state constitution from being taken over by special interests. But opponents of the measure—including more than 200 organizations as well as prior Ohio statewide officeholder— call the proposal undemocratic.

Lawmakers want to put the amendment threshold increase before voters in August, in an effort to raise the bar on a planned constitutional amendment planned for the November ballot that would enshrine reproductive health rights. Lawmakers must also pass a separate measure to create and fund the August special election. A bill passed in December and signed by Governor Mike DeWine that went into effect last month basically did away with August elections because of cost and low turnout.

Secretary of State Frank LaRose has said both measures must be passed by May 10 to give time for boards of election to prepare. Election workers are among the most vocal opponents to holding the special August vote.

First up during Wednesday's "Sound of Ideas," we'll recap the results of the May primary including the Democratic primary for Akron mayor where Shammas Malik emerged as the winner. He's likely the next mayor of Akron. And we will check in on school levy and bond issues. Voters in several districts turned down requests.

-Anna Huntsman, Akron-Canton Reporter, Ideastream Public Media
-Conor Morris, Education Reporter, Ideastream Public Media
-Jen Miller, Executive Director, League of Women Voters of Ohio
-Karen Kasler, Statehouse News Bureau Chief, Ohio Public Radio/TV

CMBA Event: The Rule of Law in Ohio: Redistricting and Voting Rights

Leigh Barr is a coordinating producer for the "Sound of Ideas" and the "Sound of Ideas Reporters Roundtable."