Big Money Issues Prompt Lawmaker To Propose Changes To How Citizens, Groups Bring Issues To Voters

Nov 11, 2017

Ohio state representative Niraj Antani believes the process in which proposed laws become placed on ballots should be changed.
Credit STATEHOUSE NEWS BUREAU

There have only been three laws that citizens or groups have convinced Ohio voters to approve on election day – Issue 2 would have been the fourth if it had passed. Now a southwestern Ohio state representative wants to change the process to bring laws or constitutional amendments to the ballot.

Miamisburg Republican Niraj Antani’s plan would raise by 25% the number of required signatures gathered by citizens or groups. It would ban campaigns from hiring workers to gather signatures, and it would require a 60% passage rate on election day.

“The way that we’re going to restore power to the people is by blocking these out-of-state special interests from coming into Ohio and buying our ballot.”

Only 12 statutes have been brought before voters by the petition process in Ohio history, and only three passed. 17 constitutional amendments were proposed this way in the last twenty years, and only five were approved. Some who have worked on ballot issue campaigns say they think Antani’s proposal is unconstitutional.