Released October 27, 2023
Analysis from Healthy Democracy Healthy People (HDHP), a nonpartisan initiative of national public health and civic engagement organizations, has found a two-way relationship between voting and community health.
“When we’re healthier, we’re more likely to vote. And communities that vote experience better health,” according to HDHP.
HDHP has developed a Health and Democracy Index, which compares public health indicators and voter turnout to restrictiveness of state voting policies. The analysis found that states with more inclusive voting policies and greater levels of civic participation tend to be healthier.
As illustrated above, the Index places Ohio among a group of states with worse health outcomes than other states and also more restrictive voting policies.
“Democracy makes our communities more inclusive and healthier,” according to HDHP. “Our votes affect health policy, clean air, housing, transit and funding for hospitals. Voting also helps people secure a seat at the table and feel more included within their communities.
As Ohioans prepare for the Nov. 7 election, HPIO has created online resource pages for State Issue 1 and State Issue 2.
- State Issue 1 would amend the Ohio Constitution to establish a state constitutional right to “make and carry out one’s own reproductive decisions,” including decisions about abortion, contraception, fertility treatment, miscarriage care and continuing pregnancy.
- State Issue 2 would change Ohio law to legalize and regulate recreational marijuana for adults aged 21 and above.
In keeping with its status as an independent and nonpartisan organization, HPIO regularly creates resource pages to make information on the health impact of relevant statewide ballot issues easily accessible to voters.
To learn more about voting in Ohio, visit voteohio.gov.