Why it’s important for Ohio legislators to support bipartisan mapmaking
Common Cause is leading a national effort to have the public and lawmakers pledge to support bipartisan maps drawn during the redistricting process. This pledge is particularly important here in Ohio. Here’s why:
- In May of 2018, Ohioans passed Issue 1, an anti-gerrymandering ballot initiative, intended to improve the US congressional redistricting process. The constitutional amendment passed overwhelmingly, gaining almost 75% of the vote, and winning in all 88 of Ohio’s counties.
- New Congressional districts will be drawn in 2021, after the 2020 census is complete. The first elections under the newly drawn districts will be in 2022.
- The rules established in the new redistricting process are based on a dual set of assumptions:
- A bipartisan map would be the best for the people of Ohio and is the highest aspiration and goal of the redistricting process.
- Map-making will be a contentious process and the parties are not likely to be able to easily agree. Even with high hopes for bipartisan map-making, there are contingencies and guard rails in place in case bipartisanship fails.
- The new redistricting process is laid out as a series of layered compromises. There are four “silos” or options. Each option contains a fall back: if lawmakers fail to come to an agreement using option #1, the process moves on to option #2, and so on.
- What is important to note is that the BEST option for Ohio is the first—the one where lawmakers are able to agree on a bipartisan map with the approval of the majority of each party. Only when lawmakers fail to achieve this option do they move on to other—less robust—alternatives.
What You Can Do to Support Bipartisan Mapmaking in Ohio?
Join Common Cause members across the country and take the below pledge to End Gerrymandering.
Contact your legislator (and candidates for elected office) and ask them to take the pledge as well. For Ohio State Representatives and Senators, the pledge is particularly pertinent and important, and it has a very specific meaning.
- Ask those who will actually take part in the new redistricting process to support the map that is the best for Ohio and focus on what’s good for the voters, not what’s good for their own party.
- Specifically, ask them to work together to make a bipartisan and transparent map, the one that requires majority approval from both parties in both houses at the Ohio Statehouse.
Take the End Gerrymandering Pledge
It’s time for a change. Elected officials, candidates for office, advocates, public figures, and ordinary Americans are standing together to take the End Gerrymandering Pledge — to show their unified support for our right to fair representation and a meaningful choice when we go to the polls.
You can join thousands of your fellow Americans in speaking out for what’s right — by adding your name to the End Gerrymandering Pledge today!