AP Election Coverage | Ohio’s Critical Decision on Abortion and Cannabis Legalization

by Chloe Baker
fokus keyword: Ohio ballot measures

As Ohio heads to the polls this Tuesday, the state becomes the epicenter of the national conversation on reproductive rights for the second occasion within three months, with voters set to determine if the state’s Constitution will be amended to safeguard abortion access.

This initiative has emerged as one of the most prominent ballot issues in the country for the current year, marking another battle at the state level following the revocation of Roe v. Wade by the Supreme Court in June of the previous year.

On the ballot as “Issue 1,” the amendment proposes to codify the right to “autonomous reproductive decision-making,” encompassing aspects such as abortion, birth control, and fertility care. The amendment would permit prohibitions on abortion when fetal viability is determined, barring cases where pregnancy termination is deemed necessary to protect the “life or health” of the individual by a medical professional.

Advocates for abortion rights have held a considerable financial upper hand in the campaign trail, as evidenced by records of campaign expenditures. However, the opposition has been vigorously engaging with voters, attempting to shape their perceptions. The debate has been marred by misinformation being disseminated through television commercials and digital platforms. Proponents have additionally voiced concerns over modifications to the amendment’s language as it is presented on the ballot.

A separate state constitutional amendment, voted down in August, attracted attention for its indirect implications on abortion rights, although it did not explicitly address them. This rejected amendment would have necessitated a 60% majority for any future constitutional amendments to pass, a threshold that would have raised the bar for the approval of the present abortion-related proposal.

In the 2022 midterm elections, a poll conducted by AP VoteCast revealed that 59% of Ohio voters were in favor of legalizing abortion in most or all situations.

Furthermore, Ohioans will also cast their votes on a measure to legalize recreational marijuana use among adults, also slated for the Tuesday ballot.

Election night expectations are as follows:

Election Day

Ohio’s statewide elections will be conducted on Tuesday, with polls shutting at 7:30 p.m. ET.

What’s on the Ballot

Coverage of two critical statewide ballot initiatives will be provided by The Big Big News: Issue 1 concerning abortion rights and Issue 2 regarding the legalization of marijuana.

Who Gets to Vote

Eligibility to vote on the statewide issues is extended to all Ohioans who are registered voters. The cut-off date for registration was October 10, and the state does not permit registration on the day of the election.

Decision Notes

The August 8 vote serves as a predictor for the support level of the proposed abortion amendment. In that election, 57% were in favor of the pro-abortion rights stance, with 43% opposing.

Analysis of the August results by AP shows a noteworthy portion of Republicans voted with the pro-abortion rights camp. For the proponents of the amendment to succeed, they would need to maintain their standing in key areas, including Cincinnati, Dayton, and parts of northern Ohio that had Trump victories in 2020.

AP withholds race projections and will only announce a winner when it is clear that the gap cannot be bridged by the opposition. Should a race remain uncalled, AP will detail the reasons and continue reporting relevant updates.

Automatic recounts are triggered in Ohio when the vote margin in statewide ballot measures is 0.25% or less. Recounts can also be requested for larger margins at the voter’s expense. AP is prepared to declare a victor even in situations requiring a recount, should the lead be determined insurmountable by such proceedings.

Turnout and Advance Voting

Ohio’s registered voter count stood at 7.9 million as of mid-June, with the state not tracking party affiliation.

The previous statewide ballot saw a 39% turnout, with 51% participating in the 2022 midterm elections.

Pre-election day ballots totaled nearly 385,000 by October’s end, with 61% cast in person and 39% by mail.

Comparatively, the pre-election day vote constituted 23% in August and 35% in the 2022 general election.

Vote Counting Duration

For the August 8 measure, AP reported initial results five minutes post poll closure. The count concluded at 1:51 a.m. ET, with approximately 99% of votes tallied.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about fokus keyword: Ohio ballot measures

What are the key issues on the ballot in Ohio’s upcoming election?

The Ohio ballot features two significant issues: Issue 1, which pertains to an amendment to the state constitution to secure abortion rights, and Issue 2, which deals with the legalization of recreational marijuana for adults.

How does Issue 1 on the Ohio ballot relate to abortion rights?

Issue 1 aims to amend the Ohio Constitution to ensure the right of individuals to make and carry out their own reproductive decisions, including abortion, contraception, and fertility treatment. It would allow for the prohibition of abortions when a fetus is determined to be viable outside the womb, except in cases where the mother’s life or health is at risk.

What was the outcome of the previous abortion-related measure voted on in August in Ohio?

In August, Ohio voters rejected a proposed state constitutional amendment that, while not directly mentioning abortion, would have raised the requirement for any constitutional amendments to pass to a 60% majority vote from a simple majority, which would have made passing Issue 1 more challenging.

Who is eligible to vote on the Ohio ballot measures?

All registered voters in the state of Ohio are eligible to vote on the statewide ballot measures. The registration deadline was October 10, and Ohio does not offer same-day registration on Election Day.

What does the advance voting data suggest about voter turnout in Ohio?

The advance voting data indicate that by the end of October, nearly 385,000 Ohioans had cast their ballots, with early in-person voting accounting for 61% and mail-in ballots for 39%. This turnout suggests a high level of voter engagement compared to the August ballot measure and the 2022 general election.

When will the voting polls close on election day in Ohio?

The voting polls in Ohio will close at 7:30 p.m. Eastern Time on election day.

How will the Associated Press report and declare winners for Ohio ballot measures?

The Associated Press will report results after polls close and declare winners only when it is confirmed that the trailing side has no path to close the vote gap. In cases where a race is too close to call, they will provide an explanation and continue to cover subsequent developments.

What happens if the vote margin for a ballot measure in Ohio is extremely close?

In the event of a vote margin of 0.25% or less for a statewide ballot measure in Ohio, an automatic recount is triggered. Voters also have the option to request and fund recounts for larger margins. The Associated Press may declare a winner in a measure that is heading for an automatic recount if the lead appears too significant to be overturned.

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SandraP November 6, 2023 - 4:33 am

Ohio is always on the news with these hot button issues, is it like a thing now? marijuana now after the whole abortion debate that’s a heavy political season for Ohioans right?

KarenD November 6, 2023 - 2:20 pm

Just read that voter reg ended Oct 10, missed that one totally guess I’m sitting out this round, not happy about it

Mike J November 6, 2023 - 2:39 pm

kinda surprised we’re seeing this vote on abortion so soon after that huge debate in august thought it would take longer to get this on the ballot

JJToms November 6, 2023 - 4:17 pm

wow so if the aug measure had passed, getting this abortion thing through would’ve been way tougher… 60% majority is no joke

Dave L November 6, 2023 - 7:26 pm

theres so much talk about misinformation but like, where’s the fact-checking on these TV ads and online stuff? feels like anyone can say anything during election season


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