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Ohio House Unanimously Passes Bill to End Repeat Issue Numbers for Statewide Ballot Initiatives

May 8, 2024
Adam Mathews News

COLUMBUS – The Ohio House of Representatives today unanimously passed House Bill 271, a bill to end repeat ballot initiative numbering. Led by State Representatives Adam Mathews (R-Lebanon) and Bob Peterson (R-Sabina), the bill will bring clarity and transparency to statewide ballot initiatives in Ohio. 

The legislation clarifies that for elections occurring after November 2024, statewide ballot issues will be designated by the Arabic numeral consecutive to that of the last statewide ballot issue in the immediately preceding election. For example, for two consecutive elections on different dates including a statewide ballot issue, the first election will contain Issue 1, the next election will contain Issue 2, and so on. The ballot issue number will reset after 500 ensuring sufficient time before the same numbers appear again on the ballot. 

“While drafting this bill, we heard from many voters and civically engaged Ohioans who wished for more clarity at the ballot box,” Mathews said. “When this passes, each ballot issue put before the voters will receive the unique and thoughtful debate it deserves.”

“This simple and logical bill reduces voter confusion on ballot initiatives,” Peterson stated. “House Bill 271 also makes it easier for Ohioans to research and study future ballot issues.”

House Bill 271 now awaits consideration from the Ohio Senate.