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Ohio says no to Gerrymandering, Monopolies, and Marijuana

November 12th, 2015

 

Voters across the state of Ohio voted on three state issues on Election Day, Nov. 3.

 

According to Cleveland.com, State Issue 1 passed by a margin of 2,025,467 to 808,999, as well as State Issue 2 which passed 1,553,357 to 1,451,520, while State Issue 3 failed 1,094,289 to 1,958,802. Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted said voter turnout appeared to be lower than normal, based on the number of absentee ballots, AP reported.

 

State Issue 1 will create a bipartisan, public process for drawing legislative districts. According to WTAP, a local news station in Mid-Ohio, lawmakers from both parties say the biggest change from this amendment will be the minority party’s ability to reject the proposed map. If they reject the map, it will only be approved for four years, instead of an entire decade, like it was before. This would help to alleviate gerrymandering, which is when political parties draw districts strategically in their favor.

 

Senator Lou Gentile said, “The fact that the minority party, whoever it may be, has the ability to reject the map, I think, really makes the process a lot better than what it is today,” WTAP reported.

 

Representative Andy Thompson disagreed, saying, “I’m not sure this necessarily changes things, but I think both parties wanted to give the impression they were doing something. I just think there were better ways to approach it than they ended up with.”

State Elections Ohio Marijuana

State Issue 2 was known as the “anti-monopoly amendment.” According to WFMJ, a local news station in Youngstown, Ohio, a yes vote on 2 would prohibit special interest groups from amending the constitution to create monopolies or cartels. It was a nearly direct opposition to Issue 3, since it would have written the marijuana monopoly into the constitution.

 

Tom McCabe, Deputy Director of the Mahoning County Board of Elections, told WFMJ that, “If you’re against the legalization of marijuana in the state of Ohio, you want to vote yes on 2 and no on 3. And of course, opposite, if you’re for the legalization, you’re going to vote no on 2, yes on 3.”

 

Issue 3 is special for a couple reasons. For one, it was a first-of-its-kind marijuana legalization proposal, according to the Associated Press. It would allow adults 21 and older to grow, possess, and use marijuana recreationally, and also make cannabis available for medical uses in the same vote.

 

Some who voted no did not like that a small group of investors would have exclusive rights to grow marijuana commercially, since a yes vote would have given exclusive, constitutional growing rights to ten sites around the state, WFMJ reported. Since Secretary of State Jon Husted considered that a monopoly, Issue 2 was proposed. According to the Associated Press, if both 2 and 3 had passed, Issue 2 would go into law first, because it was a legislative initiative while Issue 3 was a citizen’s initiative.