Redistricting Reform

One of the great ironies of Ohio’s role as a “swing state” is that, while statewide elections like the presidential may be highly competitive, widespread gerrymandering or redrawing of legislative boundaries for political purposes has made our congressional and state legislative districts and elections highly uncompetitive.  While the manipulation of district lines for partisan advantage is nothing new and both parties have been guilty of it, computer technology provides map-makers greater precision.  Common Cause Ohio has been working on redistricting reform for more than 10 years and is now tackling congressional redistricting reform.

Ohio Voters Pass Redistricting Reform!

Ohio ComicOn November 3, 2015, Ohio voters made history by passing Issue 1, a ballot measure that will make it harder for politicians to manipulate state legislative districts for partisan gain. The Ohio General Assembly passed HJR 12 in 2014 with overwhelming bipartisan support, and it then became Issue 1, a measure on the November 2015 statewide ballot.  Issue 1 passed by a wide margin, with 71% of voters' approval.  

Issue 1 was supported by the Ohio Democratic Party, the Ohio Republican Party, the Ohio Green Party and over 125 local and state organizations. Without all this tremendous help, Issue 1 would never have passed.  The support of a broad, diverse coalition shows us how campaigns and government should work, setting partisan politics aside and working in the best interest of the people.  

Our sincerest thanks to all the advocates that worked so hard to pass Issue 1!  Our work isn’t done. 

We should be able to build on the momentum of such strong voter support for fixing state legislative gerrymandering and move to place congressional redistricting reform on the November 2016 ballot.  Congressional districts are the most egregiously gerrymandered, with the 9th congressional district snaking along Lake Erie from Toledo to Cleveland. Communities are truly divided and districts look like Rorschach Ink Blots. Cuyahoga (home to Cleveland) and Summit (home to Akron) Counties are fragmented into four different congressional districts.  Five other districts are chopped up among three districts.  

Ohio common cause team

Bill Woods, Catherine Turcer, and Justin Jeffre of Common Cause Ohio

Now is the time to work on congressional redistricting reform!

There are two ways to get congressional redistricting reform on the ballot: 1.) the state legislature initiates a constitutional change by passing a reform proposal for the voters or 2.) a constitutional amendment by initiative petition; a successful signature-gathering effort puts a reform measure directly on the ballot.

There are resolutions similar to Issue 1 focused on congressional reform in both the Ohio House and Senate and the Ohio Constitutional Modernization Commission is poised to recommend congressional redistricting reform to the state legislature. Ohio congressional districts

Organizations who endorsed Issue 1:

  • Common Cause Ohio
  • A. Philip Randolph Institute
  • AAUW of Ohio
  • ACLU Ohio
  • Amalgamated Transit Union Local 697
  • America Votes
  • Applied Information Resources
  • Associated Builders and Contractors of Ohio
  • Buckeye Forest Council
  • Butler County Democratic Party
  • CASE Ohio
  • Catholic Bishops of Ohio
  • Cincinnati Chamber of Commerce
  • Clermont County Democratic Party
  • Cleveland Partnership
  • Clintonville for Change
  • Coalition of Democratic and Progressive Organizations of Central Ohio 
  • Coalition on Homelessness and Housing in Ohio (COHHIO)
  • College Democrats at Ohio State
  • College Democrats of Ohio
  • Communications Workers for America District 4
  • Columbus Chapter Alumnae of Delta Sigma Theta
  • County Commissioners Association Ohio
  • Dayton Area Chamber of Commerce
  • Delaware County Democratic Party
  • Democratic Voices
  • Equality Ohio
  • Erie County Democratic Party
  • Fair Elections Legal Network (FELN)
  • Faith for Common Good
  • Faith in Public Life
  • Food and Water Watch
  • Franklin County Democratic Party
  • Franklin County Democratic Women's Club
  • Fraternal Order of Police Ohio
  • Geauga County Democratic Party
  • Independent Lines Advocacy
  • Innovation Ohio
  • League of Women Voters of Ashtabula County
  • League of Women Voters of the Cincinnati Area
  • League of Women Voters of Greater Cleveland
  • League of Women Voters of Greater Cleveland, Rocky River Chapter
  • League of Women Voters of Greater Cleveland, Shaker Heights Chapter
  • League of Women Voters of Kent
  • League of Women Voters of Metropolitan Columbus
  • League of Women Voters of Ohio
  • Lakewood Democratic Club
  • Lucas County Democratic Party
  • Miami Voter Protection Coalition
  • Moms Clean Air Force
  • NARAL Pro-Choice Ohio
  • Northeast Ohio Alliance for Hope (NOAH)
  • Northeast Ohio Coalition for the Homeless
  • Northeast Ohio Voter Advocates (NOVA)
  • Nuns on the Bus
  • Ohio AFL-CIO
  • Ohio Agri Business Association
  • Ohio Association of Realtors
  • Ohio Cattlemen's Association
  • Ohio Chamber of Commerce
  • Ohio Chemistry Council
  • Ohio Coalition Against Gun Violence
  • Ohio Council of Churches
  • Ohio Council of Retail Merchants
  • Ohio County Commissioners Association
  • Ohio Democratic County Chairs Association
  • Ohio Democratic Party
  • Ohio Democratic Women's Caucus
  • Ohio Education Association
  • Ohio Environmental Council (OEC)
  • Ohio Farm Bureau
  • Ohio Farmers Union
  • Ohio Green Party
  • Ohio Legislative Black Caucus
  • Ohio Manufacturers' Association
  • Ohio Progressive Army
  • Ohio Progressive Talk
  • Ohio Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice
  • Ohio Republican Party
  • Ohio Organizing Collaborative (OOC)
  • Ohio Society of Certified Public Accountants
  • Ohio State Bar Association
  • Ohio State Medical Association’s Political Action Committee (OSMAPAC)
  • Ohio Student Association
  • Ohio Township Association
  • Ohio Voice
  • Ohio Voter Fund
  • Ohio Voter Rights Coalition
  • Ohio Unity Coalition
  • Ohio University College Democrats
  • One Ohio Now, Ottawa County Democrats
  • ProgressOhio
  • Region V of The Coalition of Black Trade Unionists
  • Richland County Democratic Party
  • Sandusky County Democratic Party
  • Shelby Area Democratic Club
  • Stonewall Democrats of Central Ohio
  • Summit County Progressive Democrats
  • United Auto Workers Region 2B
  • United Food and Commercial Workers 75
  • United Food and Commercial Workers 1059
  • Unitarian Universalist Justice Ohio
  • Upper Arlington Progressive Action
  • URGE: Unite for Reproductive & Gender Equity
  • Warren County Democratic Party
  • Westerville Progressive Alliance
  • Woman's City Club of Greater Cleveland
  • Wood County Board of Commissioners
  • Wood County Democratic party
  • Worthington Area Democratic Club
  • Youngstown Chamber of Commerce

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