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  • Ohioblog: A Swing State Journal





    Monday, September 20, 2004

    Initiatives could change everything 

    Organizers who want to put a constitutional amendment banning gay marriages on the Nov. 2 ballot have one week to get more signatures or live with the current law, which accomplishes virtually the same thing.

    If the Ohio Campaign to Protect Marriage succeeds in coming up with the additional valid signatures, Ohio would become one of more than 30 states with a social or legal issue placed on the ballot by voter initiative. (Ohioblog will tell you another day what he thinks of most such initiatives.)

    Phil Burress, chairman of the Ohio Campaign to Protect Marriage, told the Dayton Daily News that the group has another 144,000 signatures to augment 391,794 turned in. To get on the ballot, 322,899 signatures of Ohio registered voters is required.

    If the gay marriage ban, which also would prohibit state and local governments from recognizing civil unions, is on the ballot, it could facilitate the re-election of President Bush, who, like 56 percent of Ohioans, opposes gay marriage and wants such unions constitutionally banned.

    Such state proposals have become commonplace in the wake of the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court decison to allow same-sex marriages.

    What is not common among initiatives are those similar to one in Colorado that would amend Colorado's constitution and make it the first state to award electoral votes based on the percentage of popular vote each candidate wins.

    Jo Becker of the Washington Post reports: ``It means (John) Kerry could lose the state but still win four of its nine electoral votes, according to Democratic backers and Republican opponents. That prospect has prompted the GOP to mount a fierce challenge to the initiative even as they prepare for a possible post-Election Day legal showdown.''

    In other words, Colorado could be the next Florida - and here we thought Ohio might be.

    - Steve Love

    posted by Ohioblog: A Swing State Journal at 10:03 AM



     Latest posts

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       •  Time to slink off or speak up
       •  Intolerance: Revenge of the sign snatchers
       •  More intolerance: A poor man's Zell Miller
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