Ari (Ballaban) Jun — In Conversation
A June Boon and the Big August Election
To less fanfare, our JCRC June also included this consequential development: We submitted all our signatures to the Protect Choice Ohio (PCO) campaign, which is working to ensure abortion remains legal in Ohio. When PCO submitted those signatures on Wednesday, they reported having proffered the Secretary of State 710,131 signatures from all of Ohio’s 88 counties. This fact, despite us only needing to gather 414,000 signatures from 44 counties. Each of these signatures, which collectively double the constitutional prescription, sends a clear message: The people are on the side of women’s right to choice.
As I noted on May 12th, we now pivot to the second stage of our struggle, winning on August 8th. Surveys indicate that a clear majority percentage of Ohioans—in the upper 50s—will likely vote to support abortion rights in November’s election. However, a “win” of 59.9% in November won’t matter if Issue 1 passes on August 8th. Even though August elections are notoriously low-turnout affairs—for point of reference, the statewide primary election on August 8th, 2022 had a turnout rate of about 8%—the August electorate could deny a booming majority of voters the right to legalize abortion come November.
For any of you still reading, here’s the takeaway: The August election may be decided by a very small quantity of voters, which means—even more than usual—every vote will count. Most Ohioans do not fully understand the issues being decided on 8/8, and many will not even realize an election is taking place. That means it is contingent on all of us to get our friends, family, and others to show up to the polls. Even folks who are normally politically engaged might not be planning to vote on 8/8, so don’t take folks’ participation for granted.
Let’s not let all these signatures go to waste. Let’s get out the vote!