Proponents of a prospective amendment to uphold abortion rights in Ohio are confident they’ve gathered in excess of 413,000 legitimate signatures from registered electors, which would enable the proposition to feature on the November ballot.
Today, being the final day for submitting signatures, these need to originate from electors across a minimum of half of Ohio’s 88 counties. This provision prevents the accumulation of all signatures from larger, predominantly Democratic regions.
The plan is to submit the signatures to the Secretary of State by 10 a.m. The relevance of this is profound: If the amendment appears on the November ballot and gets the nod from voters, it would safeguard access to abortion in a state that has been a conservative battleground against the procedure.
While the organizers refrained from disclosing the exact count of signatures, spokesperson for Ohio Physicians for Reproductive Rights, Susan Shaw, affirmed to Axios, “We are on track to hit or possibly exceed our goal.”
Following the submission, the Secretary of State has to validate the signatures no later than 105 days prior to the election, which is slated for November 7.
In related news, Ohioans will cast their vote on a proposal during an August 8 special election, aiming to increase the approval threshold for future constitutional amendments from a simple majority to 60%. This special election, initiated by Republican state legislators, is broadly perceived as a strategy to thwart the passage of the proposed abortion rights amendment in November.