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Community Organizers Speak Out Against Ballot Access Measure In Ohio House

Andy Chow
House Government Accountability and Oversight holds hearing on HJR19 in the Ohio Statehouse.

Community organizers are rallying against the resolution that would make it harder for citizens to put an issue on the statewide ballot. They say the measure would deliver a huge blow to democracy. 

The House resolution, HJR19, would shorten timeframes for signatures and raises the threshold for voter approval to 60% majority. 

Catherine Turcer with Common Cause Ohio says Ohioans who have testified against the resolution know the benefit of having access to the ballot.

“What you’re going to do is make the direct democracy that was intended for ordinary citizens, something that only the super wealthy can do,” says Turcer.

Common Cause Ohio was among other organizations that pushed for a different process to the way the state draws legislative and Congressional district lines. Community organizers say this fight against gerrymandering, where districts are drawn to favor one party over another, led to state resolutions that addressed the issue.

Supporters of HJR19 say the most recent ballot issues have already been backed by rich donors from out of state and this measure would clamp down on that.

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