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Government & Politics

Backers of Ohio Constitutional Amendments Will Need More Petition Signatures to Get on the Ballot

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DAN KONIK
/
STATEHOUSE NEWS BUREAU
The number of signatures needed on a petition to place a constitutional amendment on the ballot will increase in future Ohio elections.

It’s going to be harder to put constitutional amendments on the Ohio ballot in the future. The number of signatures required is a percentage of how many people voted in the last election for governor, and turnout was up significantly in last year’s vote. 

Catherine Turcer with Common Cause Ohio noted the number of valid signatures needed to put a proposed constitutional amendment on the ballot goes from just over 305,000 to about 440,000.

“And that’s a really big change," she said. "And, in fact, it will be much harder for citizen groups to put reforms before voters.”

But Republican House Representative Niraj Antani said just raising that threshold isn’t enough.

“The increased signatures at the end of the day really doesn’t help the cause because you can always pay more people for more signatures," he said.

Legislative leaders have signaled they agree, but no action was taken in lame duck. Antani says this year he’ll introduce another measure that will increase ballot access requirements.

Editor's note:  Common Cause Ohio was misidentified in the original story; it's name has been corrected.  Also the audio in this story has been updated.