The Downballot
The Downballot
Aug 10, 2023
GOP debacle in Ohio + why sheriff elections matter, with Emily Farris
Play • 54 min

Take that, GOP schemes to rig ballot measures! On this week's episode of "The Downballot," co-hosts David Nir and David Beard gleefully dive into the failure of Issue 1, which was designed to thwart a November vote to enshrine abortion rights in the state constitution. The Davids discuss why Republican efforts to sneak their amendment through during a summertime election were doomed to fail; how many conservative counties swung sharply toward the "no" side; and what the results mean both for Sherrod Brown's reelection hopes and a future measure to institute true redistricting reform.

And joining us as our guest is political science professor Emily Farris, whose research sheds light on an elective office that usually receives too little attention: sheriffs. Farris explains how American counties came to elect their sheriffs in the first place; how they differ from police chiefs; the dangers posed by far-right "constitutional" sheriffs; and why it's so difficult to find committed reformers willing to run against the worst incumbents.

A transcript of the show can be found here.

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