Issue 1 if passed, would add abortion and reproductive rights to the state constitution is bringing attention to Ohio. An “Ohio Voted” sticker
If passed, Issue 1 would add abortion and reproductive rights to the state constitution is bringing attention to Ohio. Credit: Jeff Haynes / Signal Cleveland

Though 2023 is not a presidential election year, when the eyes of the nation often look to Ohio, the Buckeye State is getting a lot of national attention right now ahead of the November election. 

The reason is Issue 1, a proposed statewide amendment that would add abortion and reproductive rights to the state constitution. This fall, Ohio is the only state with a proposal on the ballot to enshrine abortion rights in a state constitution. 

Since the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade in 2022, eliminating the constitutional right to abortion, the issue has been put into states’ hands. Since then, abortion rights measures have passed in a number of states, including Michigan, and in some reliably Republican-leaning states, often referred to as red states. Ohio’s November election is a test of abortion rights in a state that voted twice for Donald Trump. 

Once a bellwether in presidential politics, Ohio conservative leanings have made it far less of a predictor of presidential politics in recent elections. But Ohio is a battleground this year on abortion, so it’s being watched closely and attracting money and resources to both sides of Issue 1. 

Mark Naymik discussed the national spotlight as it relates to Issue 1 during a Monday appearance on WKYC with anchor Russ Mitchell. 

Their discussion also addresses the confusion between November’s Issue 1 and the August special election’s Issue 1, which would have made it harder to add rights, including abortion rights, to the constitution by requiring a 60% majority to change the constitution. Voters overwhelmingly rejected it. 

For more news and information on Issue 1, click here.

Other issues on the ballot

Ohioans will also be voting Issue 2, which would legalize cannabis use. Along with the two statewide issues, Cleveland area voters will decide on one citywide issue one countywide issue, eight school measures, two library levies and 76 municipal races in the Nov. 7 election.

Early voting is under way. You can vote at the Cuyahoga County Board of Elections during the hours listed here.

Or request a mail-in ballot on this page. The deadline to submit a vote-by-mail application is Oct. 31.

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