Ohio, USA, regional Popular or citizens initiative [PCI] - Initiative (amendment)

General Typology

Instrument
Popular or citizens initiative [PCI]
Location
Ohio, USA
Political level
regional
Local Name:
Initiative (amendment)
Normative Level:
constitutional
Legally Binding:
yes
Legally Defined:

Ohio Constitution, Article II
Section 1
The legislative power of the state shall be vested in a general assembly consisting of a senate and house of representatives but the people reserve to themselves the power [...] independent of the general assembly to propose amendments to the constitution and to adopt or reject the same at the polls. [...]

Section 1a
The first aforestated power reserved by the people is designated the initiative, and the signatures of ten per centum of the electors shall be required upon a petition to propose an amendment to the constitution. When a petition signed by the aforesaid required number of electors, shall have been filed with the secretary of state, and verified as herein provided, proposing an amendment to the constitution, the full text of which shall have been set forth in such petition, the secretary of state shall submit for the approval or rejection of the electors, the proposed amendment, in the manner hereinafter provided, at the next succeeding regular or general election in any year occurring subsequent to one hundred twenty-five days after the filing of such petition. The initiative petitions, above described, shall have printed across the top thereof: "Amendment to the Constitution Proposed by Initiative Petition to be Submitted Directly to the Electors."

Section 1b
[...] Any proposed law or amendment to the constitution submitted to the electors as provided in 1a and 1b, if approved by a majority of the electors voting thereon, shall take effect thirty days after the election at which it was approved and shall be published by the secretary of state. If conflicting proposed laws or conflicting proposed amendments to the constitution shall be approved at the same election by a majority of the total number of votes cast for and against the same, the one receiving the highest number of affirmative votes [...] shall be the amendment to the constitution. No law proposed by initiative petition and approved by the electors shall be subject to the veto of the governor.

Section 1g
[...] Upon all initiative, supplementary, and referendum petitions provided for in any of the sections of this article, it shall be necessary to file from each of one-half of the counties of the state, petitions bearing the signatures of not less than one-half of the designated percentage of the electors of such county. [...] The basis upon which the required number of petitioners in any case shall be determined shall be the total number of votes cast for the office of governor at the last preceding election therefor.

Source: Constitution of the State of Ohio (current to 2011)

Subject Matter:

Enacting constitutional amendments via initiative

Actors

Author:
Citizen
Initiator:
Electorate : The petition must be signed by 10% of the number of votes cast for governor at the last gubernatorial election including 5% of such voters in each of 1/2 of the counties. If the petition is submitted and deemed insufficient, circulators have 10 days to collect and file additional signatures (Ohio Constitution, Article II, Sections 1a & 1g).
Decision maker:
Electorate : The initiative must be passed by a majority of those voting on the question (Ohio Constitution, Article II, Section 1b).

Requirements

Number Of Signatures:
The petition must be signed by 10% of the number of votes cast for governor at the last gubernatorial election with 5% in each of 1/2 of the counties (Ohio Constitution, Article II, Sections 1a & 1g).
Available Time:
There is no limit on when petitioners may start collecting signatures. Petitions will be put on the ballot at the next regular or general election at least 125 days after filing (Ohio Constitution, Article II, Section 1a).
Turnout Quorum:
Legal source does not mention turnout quorum
Approval Quorum:
The initiative must be passed by a majority of those voting on the question (North Dakota Constitution, Article II, Section 1b).
Geographical Quorum:
No geographical quorum to pass. The petition must be signed by 5% of the number of votes cast for governor at the last gubernatorial election in each of 1/2 of the counties. (Ohio Constitution, Article II, Sections 1a & 1g).
Excluded Issues:

Ohio Constitution, Article II
Section 1
[...] The limitations expressed in the constitution, on the power of the general assembly to enact laws, shall be deemed limitations on the power of the people to enact laws.

Section 1e

(A) The powers defined herein as the "initiative" and "referendum" shall not be used to pass a law authorizing any classification of property for the purpose of levying different rates of taxation thereon or of authorizing the levy of any single tax on land or land values or land sites at a higher rate or by a different rule than is or may be applied to improvements thereon or to personal property.

(B)(1) Restraint of trade or commerce being injurious to this state and its citizens, the power of the initiative shall not be used to pass an amendment to this constitution that would grant or create a monopoly, oligopoly, or cartel, specify or determine a tax rate, or confer a commercial interest, commercial right, or commercial license to any person, nonpublic entity, or group of persons or nonpublic entities, or any combination thereof, however organized, that is not then available to other similarly situated persons or nonpublic entities.

(2) If a constitutional amendment proposed by initiative petition is certified to appear on the ballot and, in the opinion of the Ohio ballot board, the amendment would conflict with division (B)(l) of this section, the board shall prescribe two separate questions to appear on the ballot, as follows:

(a) The first question shall be as follows:

"Shall the petitioner, in violation of division (B)(l) of Section le of Article II of the Ohio Constitution, be authorized to initiate a constitutional amendment that grants or creates a monopoly, oligopoly, or cartel, specifies or determines a tax rate, or confers a commercial interest, commercial right, or commercial license that is not available to other similarly situated persons?"

(b) The second question shall describe the proposed constitutional amendment.

(c) If both questions are approved or affirmed by a majority of the electors voting on them, then the constitutional amendment shall take effect. If only one question is approved or affirmed by a majority of the electors voting on it, then the constitutional amendment shall not take effect.

(3) If, at the general election held on November 3, 2015, the electors approve a proposed constitutional amendment that conflicts with division (B)(l) of this section with regard to the creation of a monopoly, oligopoly, or cartel for the sale, distribution, or other use of any federal Schedule I controlled substance, then notwithstanding any severability provision to the contrary, that entire proposed constitutional amendment shall not take effect. If, at any subsequent election, the electors approve a proposed constitutional amendment that was proposed by an initiative petition, that conflicts with division (B)(l) of this section, and that was not subject to the procedure described in division (B)(2) of this section, then notwithstanding any severability provision to the contrary, that entire proposed constitutional amendment shall not take effect.

(C) The supreme court of Ohio shall have original, exclusive jurisdiction in any action that relates to this section.

Source: Constitution of the State of Ohio (accessed 4 August 2017)

Other Formal Requirements:

Ohio Revised Code, Title XXXV, Chapter 3519
3519.01
(A) Only one proposal of law or constitutional amendment to be proposed by initiative petition shall be contained in an initiative petition to enable the voters to vote on that proposal separately. [...]

Source: Ohio Revised Code (accessed 4 August 2017)

Procedural Elements

Collection Mode:
free
Specify Collection Mode:

Ohio Constitution, Article II
Section 1a
[...] The initiative petitions, above described, shall have printed across the top thereof: "Amendment to the Constitution Proposed by Initiative Petition to be Submitted Directly to the Electors."

Section 1g
Any initiative, supplementary, or referendum petition may be presented in separate parts but each part shall contain a full and correct copy of the title, and text of the law, section or item thereof sought to be referred, or the proposed law or proposed amendment to the constitution. Each signer of any initiative, supplementary, or referendum petition must be an elector of the state and shall place on such petition after his name the date of signing and his place of residence. [...] To each part of such petition shall be attached the statement of the circulator, as may be required by law, that he witnessed the affixing of every signature.

Ohio Revised Code, Title XXXV, Chapter 3519
3519.01
(A) [...] A petition shall include the text of any existing statute or constitutional provision that would be amended or repealed if the proposed law or constitutional amendment is adopted. [...]

Source: Constitution of the State of Ohio(accessed 4 August 2017) and Ohio Revised Code (accessed 4 August 2017)

Wording Of Ballot Question:

Ohio Constitution
Article II
Section 1g
[...] The secretary of state shall cause to be placed upon the ballots, the ballot language for any such law, or proposed law, or proposed amendment to the constitution, to be submitted. The ballot language shall be prescribed by the Ohio ballot board in the same manner, and subject to the same terms and conditions, as apply to issues submitted by the general assembly pursuant to Section 1 of Article XVI of this constitution. [...]

Article XVI, Section 1
[...] The ballot language for such proposed amendments shall be prescribed by a majority of the Ohio ballot board, consisting of the secretary of state and four other members, who shall be designated in a manner prescribed by law and not more than two of whom shall be members of the same political party. The ballot language shall properly identify the substance of the proposal to be voted upon. The ballot need not contain the full text nor a condensed text of the proposal. The board shall also prepare an explanation of the proposal, which may include its purpose and effects, and shall certify the ballot language and the explanation to the secretary of state not later than seventy-five days before the election. The ballot language and the explanation shall be available for public inspection in the office of the secretary of state. [...]

Source: Constitution of the State of Ohio (accessed 4 August 2017)

Interaction With Authorities:

Ohio Revised Code, Title XXXV, Chapter 3519
3519.01
[...] Whoever seeks to propose a law or constitutional amendment by initiative petition shall, by a written petition signed by one thousand qualified electors, submit the proposed law or constitutional amendment and a summary of it to the attorney general for examination. [...]

3519.02
The petitioners shall designate in any initiative, referendum, or supplementary petition and on each of the several parts of such petition a committee of not less than three nor more than five of their number who shall represent them in all matters relating to such petitions. Notice of all matters or proceedings pertaining to such petitions may be served on said committee, or any of them, either personally or by registered mail, or by leaving such notice at the usual place of residence of each of them.

3519.04
Within two days after receipt, under division (A) of section 3519.01 of the Revised Code, of the verified copy of a proposed state law or constitutional amendment proposing the levy of any tax or involving a matter that will necessitate the expenditure of any funds of the state or any political subdivision of the state, the secretary of state shall request of the office of budget and management an estimate of any annual expenditure of public funds proposed and of the tax commissioner the annual yield of any proposed taxes. [...]

Source: Ohio Revised Code (accessed 4 August 2017)

Supervision And Support:

Ohio Constitution, Article II
Section 1g
[...] The secretary of state shall determine the sufficiency of the signatures not later than one hundred five days before the election. [...] If the petitions or signatures are determined to be insufficient, ten additional days shall be allowed for the filing of additional signatures to such petition. If additional signatures are filed, the secretary of state shall determine the sufficiency of those additional signatures not later than sixty-five days before the election. [...] A true copy of all laws or proposed laws or proposed amendments to the constitution, together with an argument or explanation, or both, for, and also an argument or explanation, or both, against the same, shall be prepared. [...] the persons who prepare the argument or explanation, or both, for any proposed law or proposed amendment to the constitution may be named in the petition proposing the same. The person or persons who prepare the argument or explanation, or both,[...] against any proposed law submitted by supplementary petition, shall be named by the general assembly, if in session, and if not in session then by the governor. The law, or proposed law, or proposed amendment to the constitution, together with the arguments and explanations, not exceeding a total of three hundred words for each, and also the arguments and explanations, not exceeding a total of three hundred words against each, shall be published once a week for three consecutive weeks preceding the election, in at least one newspaper of general circulation in each county of the state, where a newspaper is published. [...]

Ohio Revised Code, Title XXXV, Chapter 3519
3519.07
(A) The secretary of state shall post each of the following on the web site of the office of the secretary of state:
(1) The full text of each state law or constitutional amendment proposed by initiative petition that has been approved for the ballot;
(2) The certified summary of each state law or constitutional amendment proposed by initiative petition that has been approved for the ballot;
(3) The ballot language of each state law or constitutional amendment proposed by initiative petition;
(4) The arguments or explanations in favor of or against each state law or constitutional amendment proposed by initiative petition that has been approved for the ballot.

Source: Constitution of the State of Ohio(accessed 4 August 2017) and Ohio Revised Code (accessed 4 August 2017)

Transparency And Finance:

Practice

Archive:
Remarks: