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Ohio voters approve abortion rights and marijuana - what happens next?

Issue 1 supporters celebrate at a watch party.
Sue Ogrocki
Issue 1 supporters celebrate as Rhiannon Carnes, executive director, Ohio Women's Alliance, speaks at a watch party, Tuesday, Nov. 7, 2023, in Columbus Ohio. Ohio voters have approved a constitutional amendment that guarantees the right to abortion and other forms of reproductive health care. The outcome of Tuesday’s intense, off-year election was the latest blow for abortion opponents.

Ohio Voters have spoken. A clear majority of Ohioans support the Roe vs. Wade standard of abortion rights and adult legal use of recreational marijuana.

However, lawmakers and opponents have said they plan to make changes to both issues.

We take a look at the results and talk about where we go from here with Anna Staver, the host of WOSU's All Sides with Anna Staver.

Issue 1 was arguably the biggest item on the ballot. With its approval, Ohio joins other red states in which voters came down solidly in support of abortion and reproductive rights.

The constitutional amendment with 57% of the vote, which was 13 points ahead and a half million votes more than the opposition.

Abortion rights supporters are poised to challenge all of Ohio’s abortion restrictions.

State Rep. Brian Stewart (R-Ashville) appeared on All Sides with Anna Staver this week and indicated his fellow Republicans were not ready to just let the amendment live unchallenged.

Ohio House Minority leader Allison Russo (D-Upper Arlington) was having none of it.

Issue 2 on the ballot legalized recreational marijuana, or what we like to call marijuana for fun. It too passed by a 57% to 43% margin.

Lawmakers said following the election they would look at making changes to the new law.

Snollygoster Of The Week

This week, the award goes to Marysville City Council member-elect Steve Wolfe.

Wolfe was a write-in candidate in the city northwest of Columbus and knocked out incumbent city council member Aaron Carpenter.

Carpenter was vulnerable. He had been a lightning rod in Union County. He is an election denier. He also attended then-President Trump’s Stop The Steal rally on Jan. 6, 2021 and marched to the U.S. Capitol.

Carpenter said he did not storm the U.S. Capitol or witness any violence, which he condemned. But he continues to say President Joe Biden stole the election and is an illegitimate president.

Carpenter was the subject of an online petition and a short-lived recall effort.

Wolfe, who is also a conservative and once served as an intern for Congressman Jim Jordan, bested Carpenter by 15 votes.

So for launching a write-in campaign and defeating an incumbent by a little more than a dozen votes, Steven Wolfe gets our "Snollygoster of the Week" award.

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

Mike Thompson spends much of his time correcting people who mispronounce the name of his hometown – Worcester, Massachusetts. Mike studied broadcast journalism at Syracuse University when he was not running in circles – as a distance runner on the SU track team.
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