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Government & Politics

Backers of Ohio Issue 1 Are Concerned With Wording That Will Appear on Ballot

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Ohio Public Radio
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Southern Ohio Correctional Facility located in Lucasville, Ohio.

Secretary of State Jon Husted, who’s also the Republican candidate for lieutenant governor, announced the official title for the only statewide issue that’s on the fall ballot. Backers of Issue 1 say the wording means they have work to do.

Voters will see this short description for Issue 1: “to reduce penalties for crimes of obtaining, possessing and using illegal drugs.”

Matt Borges with Safe and Healthy Ohio said the title is accurate but reflects just one aspect of the constitutional amendment, which also would direct funding to state-run drug treatment.

“It’s up to our campaign to deliver the message effectively, and we’ll either do that or we won’t," he said. "I never underestimate Ohio voters’ intelligence, and we’ll make sure they understand what they’re voting for.”

Backers have raised more than $4 million, including donations from groups created by two Facebook founders and billionaire George Soros.

Prosecutors oppose the amendment, which also would allow for reduced sentences for good behavior by inmates not convicted of murder, rape or child molestation.