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GOP lawmakers scramble to raise the bar on ballot amendments

Sean Welton
via Flickr

Republican lawmakers who oppose abortion want to make 60% the new threshold for amending the Ohio constitution.

On this week's episode of Snollygoster, Ohio's politics podcast from WOSU, hosts Mike Thompson and Steve Brown discuss the mad rush for a special election in August, before a possible abortion rights vote in November. Ohio Public Radio Statehouse News Bureau Chief Karen Kasler joins the show.

Changing the rules

Abortion rights supporters are now gathering signatures to get a proposed amendment on the ballot that would guarantee a woman’s right to an abortion up until fetal viability. In other states, these measures have passed with about 55% to 57% of the vote.

One solution for Republican lawmakers is to make the requirement 60% of the vote. They tried to get it on the May ballot, but missed the deadline. Now some are targeting a special election in August, before the possible November abortion vote.

And this comes just months after lawmakers passed a law that kills August elections.

The sponsor of the move—State Rep. Brian Stewart— said the reason would be to prevent corruption and that the rush to get it on the ballot has nothing to do with the looming abortion vote.

Snollygoster of the week

Political operatives are trying to take advantage of the terrible toxic train derailment in East Palestine. Democrats? Republicans? Candidates for President of the United States? Nope, it's the Russians.

Pro-Russian social media accounts are pushing false stories about the derailment. They claim—without evidence—that Ohio authorities are lying about the true impact of the chemical spill. They compared the response to the derailment to the U.S. support for Ukraine.

The accounts were identified by the London-based social media monitoring firm Reset and shared with The Associated Press.

If you have a suggestion for our "Snollygoster of the Week" award, a question or a comment, send them to snollygoster@wosu.org.