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The surge in voter turnout for Ohio’s 2018 gubernatorial election will make it more difficult for Ohio voters to use both the constitutional initiative and the statutory initiative. Under Ohio’s direct constitutional initiative, amendment proponents must submit a petition with valid signatures from 10% of the voters in the most recent gubernatorial election. For the 2018 ballot, amendment proponents needed to obtain valid signatures from 305,591 or 10% of the voter turnout in 2014. The fact that more than 4,318,090 (unofficial vote count) voted in the 2018 gubernatorial election will have the effect of increasing to 431,809 the number of valid signatures needed to put proposed constitutional amendments on the ballot.

And the surge in voting will have a similar effect on the Ohio indirect statutory initiative under which proponents of a statute must obtain valid signatures from 3% of the voters in the most recent gubernatorial election. This number has increased from 91,677 to 129,543 (based on the unofficial vote count). And an additional 129,543 valid signatures must be obtained on a supplemental petition in the event the General Assembly does not adopt the proposed statute.

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