Ohio 2015 General Election and Ballot Issues
With the Ohio General Election 2015 scheduled for November 3, it's time for those who plan to vote either in person or via absentee ballot to become familiar with the state ballot issues and the issues and candidates local to their community. Ohio has only three issues on the ballot, two of which are the most contentious, one seeming to cancel out the other.
Ohio State Ballot Issue 1
State Issue 1 has not received a lot of attention, either from the media or via campaign advertisements. This issue seeks to create a seven person bipartisan committee that would be in charge of redistricting the legislative districts for the Ohio General Assembly only. This issue is on the ballot via the state legislature.
The intention of this issue is to reduce gerrymandering in the redistricting process, requiring a vote of at least four of the seven members for changes to take place.
The current committee is a five-member panel, only one of which must be from the minority party. If the seven-member issue wins, two of those seven members must be from the minority party. In truth, I don't see the sense in making a change, since the majority party will still be able to control the votes in the redistricting. This feels to me like someone's attempt to make voters feel good if they haven't read the fine print.
Ohio State Ballot Issue 2
Oho Issue 2 has also been placed on the ballot by the state legislature and, like Issue 1, would change the state constitution. State Issue 2 would prevent the creation of monopolies through petition to the state of Ohio.
On the face of it, this issue would seem to be a no-brainer -- we all know monopolies are bad things, right? Consider, though, that State Issue 3 would allow 10 farms only initially to grow and sell legal marijuana. If State Issue 2 passes, the licensing of only 10 farms would be seen as creating a monopoly and perhaps bring that issue to a screaming halt.
Interestingly, a TV commercial I've seen on these two issues tells people that if what they really want to do is allow medical marijuana use in Ohio, then those folks should vote no on Issue 3 and yes on Issue 2. The commercial is a bit misleading, since there is nothing in Issue 2 that addresses marijuana, medical or otherwise. That would have to be something brought to the ballot at another time.
Ohio State Ballot Issue 3
State Issue 3 came to the ballot via a petition drive by supporters of legalizing marijuana in the state. Essentially, anyone who wanted to could grow up to four marijuana plants for self use after paying a $50 fee to the state to do so. In addition 10 farms would be licensed by the state to grow and sell the legalized marijuana.
Public use of marijuana is not part of this issue. Smoking marijuana would have to be done at home or in private locations. The state would tax wholesale and manufacturers of legal marijuana at 15 percent, and then a 5 percent tax for those who would buy the recreational drug.
Those who are promoting a "Yes" vote on Issue 3 are also promoting a "No" vote on Issue 2.
Summary on Ohio General Election 2015
There's plenty of time left to research these issues further and become familiar with local issues and candidates prior to sending in absentee ballots, which must be received in the election office by October 31, 2015. For those voting in person, November 3 will be the day to go to the polls. If you don't remember your polling place, contact your local Board of Elections for information.
Resources: Ohio's 2015 Elections ; ballotpedia.org/Ohio
Ohio Voters to Decide Three State Questions ; SanduskyRegister.com; September 28, 2015; Tom Jackson
What's interesting in your local elections?
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