Former Vice President Mike Pence came out in support of Ohio’s Issue 1 constitutional amendment that is on the ballot Tuesday, saying that passing it would help stop the “radical left.”
The amendment, funded by conservative interests, would raise the required vote threshold for a constitutional amendment from 50 percent to 60 percent and would require prospective amendments to get petition signatures from every county in the state. Critics have called the measure “undemocratic,” saying it would take away majority rule.
“For years, left-wing interests have abused the constitutional amendment process in Ohio to get their extreme agenda into law, but the Ohio Constitution Protection Amendment will put an end to that,” Pence said in a campaign video.
A constitutional amendment protecting abortion rights will be on the November ballot in Ohio, and passage of Tuesday’s measure could significantly lower its chances.
Issue 1 is the only issue on the ballot statewide in the special election, sparking criticism against Republican election officials who pushed for an opportunity to pass the measure before the abortion rights amendment is considered.
August special elections are mostly banned in Ohio, as they are considered too expensive to be worthwhile. Despite calls to place the measure on the November ballot, Gov. Mike DeWine (R) pushed ahead, with the state Supreme Court agreeing that the election could be held in August earlier this year.
Secretary of State Frank LaRose (R) — who is the state’s top elections official and is seeking to unseat Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) next year — had previously stated that the amendment is about protecting the constitution, but he said in June it is “100 percent about keeping a radical pro-abortion amendment out of our constitution.”
The measure has brought Ohioans to the polls, with some early voting locations lacking enough staff under the strain of too many voters.
Pence has the strongest anti-abortion stance of any 2024 GOP presidential candidate, making the issue central to his campaign. He has previously called the fight against abortion rights “more important than politics.”
Polls close in Ohio at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday.