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Ohio voters likely to face more issues

As has been the case for several years, Ohio voters may be asked to make significant changes to the state constitution when they head to the polls this fall.

A state panel has said supporters of two separate ballot issues can circulate petitions to put these measures to a vote of the people.

One proposal would prevent elected officials from re-drawing legislative and Congressional district lines, instead putting this mapmaking responsibility in the hands of a citizen-driven body that reflects “Ohio’s geographic, ethnic and political diversity,” according to Associated Press reports.

The second proposed constitutional amendment — certainly one that will spark much controversy and drive voters to the polls — would make gay marriage legal in Ohio. It would repeal an amendment adopted in 2004 that says marriage can only be between a man and a woman in the state.

Supporters will need to gather 385,000 signatures for these issues to appear on statewide ballots but, based on recent history, they will likely not have much trouble in doing so.

Ohio voters have been asked to decide on a host of issues in recent years including gambling, minimum wage and collective bargaining.

Although some things certainly need to be decided by citizens, the recent trend to constantly seek amendments to the constitution is concerning.

Lawmakers can resolve many of the issues that end up on the ballot, but this simply hasn’t happened.

If these groups are successful in placing both issues on the ballot, voters must think very carefully because choices like these are not easily undone.

If Ohio’s citizens are asked, each of us has a responsibility to make an informed decision.