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(Photo by Graham Stokes for Ohio Capital Journal)

MAY 10: Hundreds of protesters against SJR 2 and its companion HJR 1 fill the rotunda outside the Ohio House of Representatives session on May 10, 2023 at the Statehouse in Columbus, Ohio.

Ohio Republicans in the General Assembly on Wednesday approved a resolution 62-37 to put a proposed constitutional amendment before a special election vote in August that would raise the threshold for passage from 50% to 60% for future constitutional amendments.

Five Republican representatives joined Democrats in opposing the measure, which is now the subject of a lawsuit alleging that the Ohio Legislature cannot call the August election by resolution alone.

But if she survives this challenge, the election will be held on August 8.

To vote on August 8. voters must register no later than July 10. Early voting will begin the next day, July 11.

If passed, the proposed ballot amendment would make it more difficult to pass future amendments to the Ohio constitution, which require the approval of 60% of voters, rather than a simple majority as is currently required.

The amendment would also change the process for submitting initiative petitions for future amendments by eliminating the ten-day cure period, the period for collecting additional signatures after the initial deadline if signatures do not reach the required number.

In addition, the proposed amendment would require petition signatures from at least 5% of voters in each of Ohio’s 88 counties. Currently, petition signatures are required from only 5% of voters in half of Ohio’s counties.

If the amendment passes, the new 60 percent threshold would go into effect immediately, impacting the Nov. 7 general election, which will include abortion rights and could have cannabis legalization on the ballot.

The new requirements for initiative petitions, however, will only apply to those filed on or after January 1, 2024.

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