Ohioans are split over a controversial measure making it more difficult to amend the state constitution that could have a major impact on the state’s abortion laws, according to a Scripps News/YouGov poll.
Thirty-eight percent of respondents in the state said they agreed with the proposal to raise the threshold for amending the constitution from 50% to 60% of voters, the survey found. Thirty-seven percent oppose, and about a quarter of the state is unsure.
Ohio voters have been able to amend the constitution with a simple majority vote for more than 100 years. That may end this coming August if Issue 1 passes.
On Aug. 8, Ohioans will decide on Issue 1, which would raise the threshold for a constitutional amendment to pass from a simple majority, or 50% plus one, to 60%.
Opponents of changing the threshold say it is an attempt by conservatives in the state to thwart a potential constitutional amendment that would enshrine abortion access in the Buckeye State up until fetal viability.
Supporters say the long-lasting impact of changing the state constitution should require a higher bar.
The results of the survey are split along party lines.
More than 6 in 10 Republicans say they are in favor of the measure, while 53% of Democrats oppose it. Independents are slightly against the measure, with 38% against it and 29% in favor.
The survey is the first indication of how Ohio voters feel ahead of a consequential summer vote that could determine the future of reproductive rights in the state. The state is expected to be at the center of the abortion rights debate in the coming months.
The August vote comes as abortion rights advocates in the state are collecting signatures to get a proposed constitutional amendment on the November ballot that states "every individual has a right to make and carry out one’s own reproductive decisions."
Nearly 60% of those surveyed said they agreed with language.
But views on abortion overall were more divided. Forty-two percent of Ohioans say they would like to see more restrictions added to the current state law that bans abortion after 22 weeks of pregnancy. That same number say they disagree with more restrictions.
Abortion rights advocates have until July 5 to gather enough signatures to get the amendment on the ballot this fall.
The Scripps News/YouGov poll was conducted June 20–22, 2023, among 500 Ohio adults reached by web-based interview, and has an overall margin of error of +/- 5.95.
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