Ohio Special Election Goals: Turnout, TurnOut, TURNOUT (Part One)

postcards to voters

Riddle #1: 

What costs Ohio residents millions in taxpayer dollars, is scheduled at a highly inconvenient time for voters, draws about 8% turnout, and was just voted to be discontinued this past April by Ohio Republican state lawmakers?

Riddle #2:

What costs Ohio residents millions in taxpayer dollars, is scheduled at a highly inconvenient time for voters, draws about 8% turnout, and was just reinstated this past May - one month later! - by Ohio Republican state lawmakers for the purpose of making it harder for Ohioans to amend the State Constitution?

Answer to both: the upcoming August Special Election!

Hello and happy summer, activist friends! Between vacation plans and social time, we hope that you’ll make space for helping us with our two-part campaign to reach out to Ohio voters about the upcoming August Special Election. Our first campaign focuses on voter registration, and the second one focuses on Get Out the Vote (GOTV)

Background: With scores of doctors and citizens collecting signatures to get constitutional protections for reproductive rights on statewide ballots in 2023, the GOP legislature is attempting to move the goal post by changing ballot measure rules, coupled with their usual tactics of voter purging.

Republicans want voters to raise the threshold for approving future amendments to the Ohio Constitution from a simple majority to 60% (a nearly impossibly high bar to cross in a 50/50 state like Ohio). Their motivation to do this in August is a possible November ballot measure to codify abortion rights in the constitution. This August resolution would also make it significantly harder for groups to get initiatives onto the ballot in the future by requiring signatures from every county in the state, not half the counties as is the current law.

Though the Ohio GOP just voted to discontinue August Special Elections this past spring, they’re now willing to spend a whopping $20 million in taxpayer dollars (not including actual campaign costs - likely an additional $10 million on each side) to hold this inconvenient, costly special election.

Why is Blue Wave doing TWO campaigns? As mentioned in the clever riddle opener, a typical August Special Election only draws about 8% voter participation. The GOP is counting on this election flying under the radar of most Ohioans, involved with vacations and summer distractions, to notice that their rights are being stripped.

The Republicans are also counting on their continual purging of voters - since 2018, almost 700,000 registered voters were purged from voter records by the Ohio Secretary of State - and the fact that most are not aware that they’ve been purged until showing up to vote. Did I mention that there is no same-day voter registration in Ohio? Yes - my head is exploding, too.

To win this election and protect ballot measures - one of the few ways that citizens can have a voice in a highly gerrymandered state with conservative courts - We. Need. TURNOUT.

Our first campaign (pre-launch on June 9th!) is to let Ohio voters know what is going on and to encourage them to check their voter registration status. We’ll provide one of our extremely helpful QR codes on the postcards to direct voters to the Ohio Secretary of State website with the info they need, just in case they have to re-register.  

Our second campaign (pre-launch July 5th) is all about Getting Out The VOTE (GOTV)! We want to emphasize to Ohio voters that this is an election that directly affects their rights - reproductive rights, voting rights, and so much more.

Please fit in some time in the next month or so to help out: Fill out a few while waiting on the kids to finish soccer practice! Host a backyard postcard party - socialize and save democracy! (Plus, if you have a sizable group, save 20% on postcard costs when you buy a box!). Just sayin’...

Whether you write your own cards, host a few friends or a party, or contribute to our activist assistance fund, understand this: Not only does this election have repercussions to the citizens of Ohio, but as a swing state, affects so much else in the 2024 election, including holding the US Senate majority!

(Pssst - Part Two is coming soon - sign up for updates if you haven’t already.)

There are no “off” years for democracy. But you already knew that. It’s activist citizens like you who are helping to turn around our country.

Thanks, friends - love you like democracy!

-Lisa, Marketing Director/SoBo Coordinator 

(Photo by Joshua Woroniecki on Unsplash)

Back to blog

Contribute to our blog!

We want to learn about your experiences with Blue Wave and political activism.