Ohio

Ohio

You have full Initiative & Referendum rights. Citizens can pass laws they write or suspend a statute passed by the Legislature by collecting enough petition signatures to place the statute on the statewide ballot for a decision by the voters. Voters can also initiate constitutional amendments by Initiative.

Coalition for an Open & Accessible Initiative Process:

Buckeye Institute

1851 Center for Constitutional Law

Poll:

See the results of a poll on support for statewide initiative & referendum here.

Grade: A-

Click here to view Ohio’s individual report in Of the People, By the People, For the People: A 2010 Report Card on Statewide Voter Initiative Rights.

Citizen State Coordinator

For more information on to get involved in protecting and expanding Ohio’s initiative process, contact the Ohio Citizens in Charge Foundation Citizen State Coordinator:

Jack Boyle

 

Email Jack

State Balloting Process

How you can change Ohio’s government through ballot initiatives

History

When the founding convention of the National Direct Legislation
League met in St. Louis in 1896, it elected 56 vice presidents, four of whom
were from Ohio. None of the other 36 states which were represented
provided so many… Read More

Ballot Qualifications & Schedule

Date initiative language can be submitted: Anytime.

Signatures tied to vote of which office: Governor

Next Gubernatorial election: 2010

Votes cast for governor in last election: 3,820,795 (2006)

Net number of signatures required: For constitutional amendments, the
total number of signatures must equal at least ten percent (10%) of the
total vote cast for the office of governor at the last gubernatorial election
(382,079 signatures). For statutes, the total number of signatures on the
petition must equal at least three percent (3%) of the total vote cast for
the office of governor at the last gubernatorial election (114,623). The
Secretary of State may not accept for filing any initiative petition that
does not purport to contain at least the minimum number of signatures
required. If the General Assembly adopts the law then no additional
signatures are needed. If the General Assembly fails to enact the
proposed statute, passes it in amended form, or takes no action within
four (4) months from the time it was received by the General Assembly,
supplemental petitions may be circulated by the petitioners demanding
that the proposal be submitted to the electors at the next general
election. The supplemental petition must contain signatures of electors
equal to three percent (3%) of the most recent vote for governor (another
114,623). Such petition must be signed and filed with the Secretary of
State within ninety (90) days after the General Assembly fails to enact the
proposed statute, passes it in amended form, or takes no action within
four (4) months from the time it was received by the General Assembly.
The petition may present the proposed law as worded on the original
petition or with any amendments incorporated by the General Assembly.

Distribution requirement: The signatures for both amendments and statutes
must be obtained from at least 44 of the 88 counties of the state. For
statutes: From each of these 44 counties, there must be signatures equal
to at least one and five-tenths percent (1.5%) of the total vote cast for the
office of governor in that county at the last gubernatorial election. For
amendments: From each of these 44 counties, there must be signatures
equal to at least five percent (5%) of the total vote cast for the office of
governor in that county at the last gubernatorial election.

Circulation period: unlimited

Do circulators have to be residents: No

Date when signatures are due for certification: For Statutes: The petition
must be filed with the Secretary of State not less than ten (10) days prior to
commencement of any session of the General Assembly. Legislative
sessions begin on the first Monday in January. Filing must be
accompanied by a twenty-five dollar ($25.00) filing fee. The Secretary of
State transmits the proposal to the General Assembly as soon as it
convenes. For Amendments: The petition must be filed with the Secretary
of State not later than ninety (90) days prior to the General Election at
which the amendment is to be submitted. (Early August of each year.)
Signature verification process: The petition and signatures on such petition
shall be presumed to be in all respects sufficient, unless, it shall be
otherwise proved, and in such event ten (10) additional days shall be
allowed for the filing of additional signatures. Each signer must be a
qualified elector of the state. Each part-petition must contain signatures of
electors of only one county. If a part-petition contains signatures of more
than one county, the Secretary of State determines the county from
which the majority of signatures came from, and only signatures from that
county will be counted.

Single-subject restriction: Yes

Legislative Tampering: The legislature can both repeal and amend
initiatives.

Excerpted from the Initiative & Referendum Almanac by M. Dane Waters.