“Ohio Issue 1 fails: Big cities, suburban and many rural counties voted down issue”

Columbus Dispatch:

Issue 1 was projected to fail on Tuesday, according to Decision Desk HQ, dealing a blow to Ohio Republicans who wanted to hamstring a November ballot question on abortion rights.

Decision Desk HQ, an election results reporting agency providing results and race calls for the USA TODAY Network Ohio, called the race around 8:09 p.m. With about 28% of the vote counted, no vote was leading 68% to 32%.

Tuesday’s election was the culmination of a months-long fight that began last year, when Secretary of State Frank LaRose and Rep. Brian Stewart, R-Ashville, first introduced a plan to tighten the rules for constitutional amendments. The debate played out in the halls of the Ohio Statehouse, on the campaign trail and even in the courtroom as opponents tried to stop GOP lawmakers in their tracks.

Proponents of the measure said they want to keep controversial policies out of the constitution and reserve it for the state’s fundamental rights and values. Critics argued the ballot measure was a power grab that would hamstring the rights of citizens to place an issue on the ballot….

Republicans made it clear that they wanted to hold the election before November, when Ohioans will decide whether to enshrine reproductive rights in the constitution. That turned Tuesday’s election into a nationally watched proxy war over the abortion debate, as Ohio is the only state voting on the issue in 2023.

Even with such high stakes, convincing Ohioans to pay attention to a convoluted political issue in the summer cost both sides millions of dollars

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