Ohio voters sent a loud message on Election Day! More than 71% of Ohio voters supported a new bipartisan system to draw state legislative district lines. Issue 1 tackled gerrymandering at the Statehouse and won in ALL 88 counties.
In November 2015, voters overwhelmingly passed State Issue 1. This bipartisan redistricting proposal created a fairer and transparent process for drawing state legislative districts - but it did not include congressional districts.
Now it's time to finish the job. What's good enough for the Statehouse should be good enough for Congress too!
Now Let’s End Congressional Gerrymandering!
On 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 House Joint Resolution 12 in 2014 with overwhelmingly bipartisan support. This resolution then became Issue 1, a measure on the November 2015 ballot. Issue 1 creates a fairer and transparent process for drawing state legislative districts and passed with a wide margin of support (more than 71% support and won in all 88 counties.
Issue 1 was supported by the Ohio Democratic Party, the Ohio Republican Party, the Ohio Green Party and over 125 local and state organizations. Our sincerest thanks to all the advocates that worked so hard to pass 2015’s Issue 1.
But our work isn’t done yet! Together we can build on the momentum of such strong voter support for fixing state legislative gerrymandering and move to place congressional redistricting reform before the voters. Ohio’s 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 each fragmented into four different congressional districts.
There are two ways to get congressional redistricting reform on the ballot:
- The state legislature initiates a constitutional change by passing a reform proposal for the voters or,
- A constitutional amendment by initiative petition or successful signature-gathering effort puts a reform measure directly on the ballot.
Like most Ohioans Governor John Kasich, Secretary of State Jon Husted, Attorney General Mike DeWine, Auditor Dave Yost and Treasurer Mandel support congressional redistricting reform.
But it will be a challenge. The day after the 2015 Election, Ohio House Speaker Cliff Rosenberger suggested that we need to wait to address congressional gerrymandering until after the next map-making process in 2021.
Common Cause Ohio is part of a coalition that is committed to ending the hyper-partisan way in which congressional districts are manipulated. Together the Fair Districts = Fair Elections Coalition is advocating transparent mapmaking, a prohibition on gerrymandering and fair districts that keep communities together.
The Fair Districts = Fair Elections Coalition includes:
- Common Cause Ohio
- League of Women Voters of Ohio
- AAUW of Ohio
- America Votes
- Applied Information Resources
- Asian Services in Action
- Columbus Chapter Alumnae of Delta Sigma Theta
- Democratic Voices
- Equality Toledo
- Fair Elections Legal Network
- Faith Coalition for the Common Good
- Faith in Public Life
- Independent Lines Advocacy
- Innovation Ohio
- National Council of Jewish Women Cleveland Section
- National Council of Jewish Women Columbus Section
- Northeast Ohio Voter Advocates
- Nuns on the Bus Ohio
- Ohio Coalition Against Gun Violence
- Ohio Council of Churches
- Ohio Environmental Council
- Ohio Farmers Union
- Ohio Student Association
- Ohio Voice
- Ohio Voter Rights Coalition
- Unitarian Universalist Justice Ohio