Ohio Representative Bringing Storm Clouds Over Voters’ Heads

Wed, Mar 3 2010 by Anonymous

Growing up outside of Wheeling, WV, I spent much of my life getting weather reports from channel 7’s John Domenick. Mr. Domenick has since retired from television and moved on to the Ohio House of Representatives, where he is looking to bring what may be the storm of the century to bear against the voting rights of Ohioans.

Domenick has submitted House Joint Resolution 13, which would require a 67% supermajority vote to amend the state constitution. As both Blockbuster Democracy and the Cleveland Plain Dealer point out, his amendment itself would only require a simple majority to become law.

Joe Matthews at Blockbuster Democracy goes on to say:

If he wants that passed, he should at least insist that his amendment to establish a supermajority shouldn’t take effect without a two-thirds vote. As his legislation stands, his amendment would make it nearly impossible to pass an initiative in Ohio. Initiative reform is necessary, but reform should seek to open up the process, make it cheaper (so that the rich don’t dominate), ensure the access rights of petition circulators, and — most of all — integrate direct democracy with representative democracy.

Currently Florida is the only initiative state to require more than a simple majority vote to pass a constitutional amendment. In 2006 voters approved - by less than a 60% vote - a legislature sponsored amendment to require future amendments to get 60% of the vote to take affect. New Hampshire, which lacks a statewide initiative process, is the only other state to require more than a simple majority vote to approve a constitutional amendment. That state requires a 2/3 vote.