The League of Women Voters is a nonpartisan political organization encouraging informed and active participation in government. It influences public policy through education and advocacy.
Register or update your voter registration by October 9, for the November 6, 2018 General Election
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LWV Ohio takes a NEUTRAL Position on Issue 1 in the November 2018 General Election
Ohio Issue 1, the Drug and Criminal Justice Policies Initiative, will be on the ballot in Ohio as an initiated constitutional amendment on November 6, 2018. The amendment is designed to reduce the number of people in state prisons for low-level, nonviolent drug possession; drug use offenses; or for non-criminal probation violations. In addition, it would provide sentence credits for participation in rehabilitative programs; and is intended to direct the savings achieved by such reductions in incarceration to substance abuse treatment programs, crime victim programs, probation programs, graduated responses programs, and rehabilitation programs.
The LWV Ohio takes a neutral position on Issue 1. We agree with the LWVUS position regarding sentencing for drug related offenses, which states "alternatives to imprisonment should be explored and utilized." This corresponds with the aims of Issue 1 on the 2018 general election ballot. However, LWV Ohio has a long-standing position that the Ohio Constitution should be a "clearly stated body of fundamental principles," and we have opposed other initiative amendments on the basis of that position. In summary, the LWV Ohio supports the goals of reforming drug sentencing and improving treatment alternatives, but does not believe those goals are best achieved by amending the Constitution. Additionally, the directives contained in Issue 1 are too specific, and the implementation of those directives could lead to unintended negative consequences.