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Care about Ohio’s environment? Here’s why you should Vote No on Issue 1.

In 2000, Ohioans voted to approve financing for environmental conservation projects across the state. These bonds eventually formed the basis for the Clean Ohio Fund. The constitutional amendment authorized the state to issue bonds and other obligations to pay the costs of environmental projects. It passed at the ballot with 57% of votes cast.

But if Issue 1 passes in Ohio, future constitutional amendments will require 60% of votes cast to pass at the ballot. That is, something like the Clean Ohio Fund — designed to protect Ohio’s environment — would not have passed under Issue 1’s new rules.

At the Ohio Environmental Council, we know a healthy environment absolutely requires a healthy democracy. Issue 1 is a direct attack on every Ohioan’s right to direct democracy. That’s why we’re urging all Ohioans to Vote No on Issue 1 as part of the One Person, One Vote campaign.

Importantly, Issue 1 is not just a direct attack on sacred democratic principles like “one person, one vote.” It’s a direct attack on the environmental movement’s future potential to combat the causes of climate change.

Direct democracy is a powerful tool. Right now, Ohioans are using it to put reproductive rights on the ballot. And in 2015 and 2018, constitutional amendments changed our redistricting process. Future amendments might enshrine additional protections against gerrymandering, expand voting rights, raise the minimum wage — or directly improve Ohio’s environment, too.

The Clean Ohio Fund is one example in Ohio’s past. As the climate crisis worsens in Ohio, it’s hard to know what ballot issues the environmental movement might want to consider in the future to protect our land, air, and water, or to directly fight the climate crisis.

What we do know is what’s been accomplished in other states. And we know by how much those issues passed at the ballot.

Below, we’ve provided a non-exhaustive list of statewide ballot measures, including the Clean Ohio Fund, that have passed in other states below the 60% threshold. When you, an Ohio environmental voter, talk with your friends and family about the importance of Voting No on Issue 1, use these issues to make a compelling, data-informed case to them.

A healthy environment requires a healthy democracy, and the future of Ohio’s environmental movement requires a robust right to direct democracy.

In particular, we’d like to point to a few important ballot issues in other states relating to renewable energy. In Nevada, voters in 2018 approved a requirement that the state’s electric utilities have a 50% renewable energy portfolio by 2030, which passed by 59.3% — just barely under Issue 1’s proposed 60% threshold for Ohioans. Colorado passed a similar ballot measure back in 2004 that passed with only 53.6% of the vote.

To learn how you can take action to support the One Person, One Vote campaign, sign our pledge to Vote No on August 8th!

In addition to ballot issues that passed under 60%, a number of ballot issues pertaining to the environment have passed in states across the country at greater than 60%. Here are a few excellent examples, including a renewable energy initiative from Missouri (2008) and an energy choice initiative from Nevada (2016).

To learn how you can take action to support the One Person, One Vote campaign, sign our pledge to Vote No on August 8th!