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Big Topics on the Ballot Take Form

Ballot box | Graphic by Kelsie Tomlinson | The Wright State Guardian

Big topics on the election ballot this year included statewide issues 1 and 2 and national issues like the Dobbs decision on reproductive rights. 

Issues 1 and 2

The Ohio Secretary of State office provides the constitutional amendment that passed in the Nov. 8 election. 

“[The proposed amendment would] require Ohio courts, when setting the amount of bail, to consider public safety, including the seriousness of the offense, as well as a person’s criminal record, the likelihood a person will return to court and any other factor the Ohio General Assembly may prescribe,” the official Issue 1 amendment states. 

Student Government Association leaders at Wright State University weighed in on Issues 1 and 2, speaking on the impacts of both.

According to Ryan Diaz, grad student and SGA Chief of Staff, Issue 1 requires courts to consider other factors when determining bail, such as the potential risks to society. 

Blake Bailey, a junior political science major and the President of SGA, explained Issue 1 in two parts.  

“The first part of Issue 1 will allow for judges to consider public safety when determining bail. The second part of Issue 1 says it would no longer be required that the [Ohio] Supreme Court determine the procedure for setting bail,” Bailey explained. 

The Issue 2 amendment requires that only citizens of the United States who are 18 years old and registered to vote for a minimum of 30 days can vote in the state. 

Issue 2, according to Diaz, prevents people with green cards or permanent residence from voting in elections. For the grad student, Issue 2 is personal.

“I think that it’s going backwards. People with green cards, like my grandma, not that she ever really voted anyway, but she could locally vote, so she can vote for levies, presumably school boards, that kind of thing,” Diaz said. 

Diaz continued by saying that paying taxes here is the same as paying to live here.

“You know, taxation without representation is objectively bad. I mean, that’s kind of what our government is founded on,” Diaz expounded.

On election day, both Issues 1 and 2 passed at a 77% vote of yes. 

Civic engagement amongst youth

Sara Suzuki is a postdoctoral research fellow at the Center for Information & Research On Civic Learning and Engagement (CIRCLE), a nonpartisan research organization in Medford, Massachusetts. CIRCLE is specifically focused on civic youth engagement in the U.S. 

Suzuki spoke about the overturning of Roe v. Wade (Dobbs decision), inflation and the 

economy, employment and voter rights/access to polls as well as climate and racial justice issues. Suzuki mentioned that some relevant issues have taken less precedence in recent years. 

“I would also add that some major issues that have sort of fallen a little bit because of these recent events in our nation, but still very important issues for young people, are climate and racial justice issues,” Suzuki said. 

For Suzuki and CIRCLE, the team has seen that young people care about more issues than one, which creates dialogue about poll access. In conjunction with this, Suzuki stated that in a recent poll of people aged 18 to 29 years old, data showed that over three-quarters of young people approved of the Inflation Reduction Act, more than any other generation. 

“A lot of young people really believed that it was a positive direction and that it will help them and their families,” Suzuki described. 

Suzuki explains that this data speaks to a generation inspired to take action at the polls, specifically for issues that hold a personal investment. To that end, Suzuki presented more research about how young people have been inspired to vote. 

Suzuki shared that surveys showed the Dobbs decision inspired 41% of young people to vote today. 

For more information about youth voter turnout, visit the CIRCLE website. Voting information and election results are at the Secretary of State website and The Wright State Guardian election coverage site

Elayna Storts

News Reporter