Issue 1 fails


Issue 1 shot down by midterm voters

Abby Miller / For The Post

After today’s midterm election, Issue 1 will not become a statewide amendment.

The measure fell far behind early in the night as ballots were counted and was trailing 39 to 61 percent with about 6 percent of precincts reporting, according to the Cincinnati Enquirer.

In Athens County, 42.74 percent of votes were for Issue 1 and 57.26 percent were against it, according to the unofficial results from the Athens County Board of Elections.



The Hocking Correctional facility on Friday, August 31, 2018 which is going to be re-established as a womens prison and drug treatment facility.

The ballot measure emphasized treatment over prison time and aimed to lower the amount of people in state prisons. Those convicted of drug possession, obtainment or usage would have receive sentence credit for participating in rehabilitation work or educational programs. Issue 1 would have also mandated that any money the state of Ohio saved from a reduced number of prison inmates be allocated to substance abuse treatment programs and other rehabilitation programs.

If Issue 1 was amended, criminal offenses for obtaining, possessing or using illegal drugs would have been classified as misdemeanors, however, those charges are all labelled as felonies.

Under Issue 1, the sentencing for illegal drug traffickers and distributors would have remained the same. Users, distributors and traffickers of illegal drugs are currently all sentenced the same.

Mykal Deramus, a junior studying psychology, thinks that the status quo will continue to be unchanged after Issue 1’s failure.

“From a fiscal POV, I think what’s gonna happen is we’re gonna keep on keeping on the same way we’ve been doing,” Deramus said. “That is, spending a lot of money to incarcerate people for something that, truth be told, is a disease and needs to be treated like one.”

The Athens branch of the International Socialist Organization, or ISO, worked on canvassing and promoting Issue 1 for two months leading up to the midterms. The organization typically does not get involved with election work, but ISO felt that Issue 1 was so important that they needed to speak up.



One of the bunkrooms of Hocking Correctional facility on Friday, August 31, 2018.

Emily Walter, a junior studying environmental studies and geography, and a member of ISO, said that student interest in Issue 1 seemed to be small.

“In terms of students and just the experience of talking to people on campus, it seems like people are really disinterested or just don’t really care,” Walter said. “It’s kind of a split in terms of students.”

Thoughts on Issue 1 were different within the greater Athens area.

“I think largely the feedback we’ve received from the Athens community has been positive,” Walter said.

Leading up to election day, ISO canvassed by College Gateway, hung flyers and held a panel to raise awareness about Issue 1.

Development by: Megan Knapp / Digital Production Editor

Landing Page

Special Projects

This story is part of a series of specially designed stories that represents some of the best journalism The Post has to offer. Check out the rest of the special projects here.