The count of measures on the ballot this November just ticked up by one, as Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted certified the signatures for a referendum vote on SB 5. SB 5 restricts collective bargaining by public employees.
This vote falls under the category of popular referendum, also sometimes called a people's veto. In a popular referendum vote, voters have the chance to approve or reject a law newly passed by the legislature. If voters reject it, the law never takes effect. If voters approve it, the law takes effect after the election. These can be confusing votes to wrap your head around. Here's the key: if a majority of Ohio voters vote "yes" on this question in November, they will approve SB 5 and the restrictions on collective bargaining will take effect. If a majority votes "no," SB 5 will be rejected and the restrictions on collective bargaining will not take effect.
The vote on SB 5 is widely seen as a preview of how the 2012 election might go in Ohio. Republican Governor John Kasich was a supporter of SB 5, so a rejection by voters of that bill might spell trouble for Republicans in 2012 even though the governor himself isn't up for re-election until 2014.
The most recent poll on SB 5 indicates voters are likely to reject the effort to limit collective bargaining by public employee unions. Just 34% of those polled support SB 5, with 52% opposing it.