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Paid circulators will collect signatures for abortion amendment on Ohio ballot

A voter signs the proposed Ohio reproductive rights amendment while a volunteer looks on
Gabriel Mann
Gabriel Mann, Pro-Choice Ohio
A voter signs the proposed Ohio reproductive rights amendment while a volunteer looks on

Backers of an effort to put an amendmentbefore voters in November that could enshrine abortion rights in the constitution are hiring paid circulators. The group is facing a July deadline with hundreds of thousands of signatures needed.

Kellie Copeland with Ohioans for Reproductive Freedom said paid employees will work alongside volunteers to gather around 414,000 valid petition signatures. But she said that’s not a sign that there aren’t enough people volunteering to help.

“We’re practically getting eaten alive with volunteers who are demanding to be trained and get petition signatures. They have fanned out all across the state. People are so enthusiastic. I’ve never seen anything quite like this," Copeland said.

Copeland said most of the petition circulators will be volunteers. But she said backers have a big job to do to put the constitutional amendment on the ballot in November.

Meanwhile, a coalition of groups that oppose abortion have launched a $5 million dollar television and digital ad campaign to try to convince Ohioans that it is a bad idea.

Ohio Right to Life, Citizens for Christian Virtue and other groups that oppose abortion rights have formed a group called Protect Women Ohio (PWO). That entity is airing ads over the next four weeks while a the signature gathering is going on.

Copeland said petition circulators have encountered some opponents who have tried to stop people from signing but she said those efforts have proven to be "futile." Copeland said though it’s a big hill to climb, she thinks her group will be successful in getting the petition signatures needed to put the issue before voters this fall.

Contact Jo Ingles at
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