Ohioans, tomorrow (Tuesday, the 8th) is the day to vote on issue 1. I suggest we all get out to vote. The issue is whether to make it harder for citizens to amend the constitution. I am a hard no on the issue, and would hate to see what limited power us citizens have reduced further in favor of politicians.

That the issue was initiated by politicians and pushed into an August election, which had recently been generally outlawed by those same politicians, gives a pretty good reason to question and push back against it on its own. The vote is costly to run, especially for a single issue. There has historically been much lower turnout than votes in May or November. And there’s no rule about a quorum to ensure any significant portion of the population agrees to the measure for it to even succeed.

That the main impetus of pushing it through so quickly was to push the voting threshold for an abortion related amendment coming in November above the percentage of people who have shown support for it is another good reason for me and my libertarian and women’s health friendly peers to vote no. I think what is inside a person is their own sovereign territory, beyond governmental control. I think science, medical experience, and informed patient decision should be the primary drivers of what doctors are allowed to do with their patients.

But perhaps the most important reason I am against the amendment is that it is the only means citizens have to directly create law, our only direct political voice and power. I do not want that diminished, especially as Ohio politics has become more controlled by a single party, as a political bribery scandal costing Ohians billions for the benefit of one company is still being felt, as politicians ignore the law or the courts when it allows them to meet their goals. I’ve heard said that the issue will make it harder for special interests to push changes to the constitution, but I think it far more likely that 50% of politicians can be bought or influenced than 50% of the voting population. I don’t trust Ohio’s current politicians and I don’t want to give them more power at the expense of citizen’s power.

I’ve heard said that letting the majority control the minority can lead to the majority oppressing the minority. I would say that the opposite is worse, where the minority oppresses the majority. That is particularly true considering many recent or upcoming amendments were to reduce government control (eg legalizing gambling, legalizing medical marijuana, reducing gerrymandering, legalizing abortion choice) rather than oppressing anyone but the government. The amendment would let 40% of the population vote down an amendment, or just one county prevent it from even being voted on. I think that last provision is especially onerous.

I’ve heard said that issue 1 will protect the constitution. In the past, I might’ve been sympathetic to that idea, but now I think it more likely the opposite will happen. Politicians will have an easier time of passing laws without care for citizens. Politicians will find it easier to ignore the courts and constitution when it suits them. And since politicians will have a far easier time getting amendments on the ballot, they’d even be more likely to amend the constitution.

I would be more sympathetic to increasing voting thresholds for politicians to pass bills. That would make them harder to buy or influence. That would reduce the power of any one political party or group.

Regarding the constitution, I would be more sympathetic to requiring a quorum of voters to be met to pass an issue. it seems weird to me that if, theoretically, only one person in Ohio voted, and voted yea, the measure would pass. I think it’s important to ensure an actual significant portion of the voting public support a measure.

I would generally be more sympathetic to giving citizens more power, not less. I will be voting no tomorrow, but I hope all of you voting Ohians will vote what you believe and make sure we have a high percentage of us involved in this decision.