The summary language, which is now longer than the full amendment, was rewritten by Ohio Secretary of State Frank LaRose (R) in a complete overhaul of the previously certified “fair and accurate” wording. The board approved the language in a 3-2 along party line vote on Thursday. While the summary language does not change the full amendment text itself, it is what voters will see in the booth when voting on the proposal.
The move follows the defeat of Republican-backed Issue 1 earlier this month, which would have required future constitutional amendments in the state to garner 60% support from Ohioans as opposed to the current 50% threshold. LaRose, who campaigned heavily for Issue 1, finally admitted in June that Issue 1 was “100%” about keeping the abortion rights proposal from passing.
After failing to thwart direct democracy via Issue 1, Ohio Republicans are now using the confusing language change to get their way. Lauren Blauvelt, co-chair of Ohioans United for Reproductive Rights, which pushed the original measure, described the new language as “propaganda.” Elliot Forhan, a Democrat on the board, called out the summary for being “rife with misleading and defective language.”