Events > Bipartisan Congressional Redistricting Reform Amendment – Petitions

Bipartisan Congressional Redistricting Reform Amendment - Petitions

Coalition Website: The Fair Districts = Fair Elections Coalition
Official Campaign Website: Fair Districts = Fair Elections

After many weeks of discussion, a bipartisan agreement has been reached between Republican and Democratic Ohio legislators and members of the Fair Districts Ohio Coalition. This redistricting compromise will now be placed on the May 2018 Primary Ballot for voters final say.

There are still many questions. Here are a few answers considering information is still being disseminated by Fair Districts Ohio.

  • Are signatures still being collected? Please do not throw out any petitions. Yes, signatures are still being collected. If the May 2018 ballot issue does not pass, then Fair Districts Ohio will plan to submit its proposed language for the November 2018 General Election Ballot. Currently, there are over 200,000 signatures collected. Please see the information below for the number of signatures required to put this issue on the November 2018 General Election Ballot, if necessary.
  • What do we do with petitions we currently have? Please continue to collect signatures. Do not throw any petitions out!
  • I need more petitions as I've turned my petitions in already. Please call the number below and petitions will be provided to you.
  • If the May 2018 Primary Ballot issue does pass, can Fair Districts Ohio still put their language on November 2018 General Election Ballot? No. If the May 2018 Primary Ballot issue passes by the voters of Ohio, then this compromise will become the new redistricting plan on how congressional districts will be drawn immediately.

Here is the language that will be placed on the May 8th, 2018 Primary Ballot.

In addition, here are a few articles about this issue:

Bipartisan Congressional Redistricting Reform Amendment


The Fair Districts = Fair Elections Coalition
supporting this initiative includes:

The League of Women Voters of Ohio
Common Cause Ohio
AAUW of Ohio
America Votes
Applied Information Resources
Asian Services in Action
Coalition on Housing and Homelessness in Ohio (COHHIO)
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
No Labels Ohio
Northeast Ohio Voter Advocates
Nuns on the Bus Ohio
Ohio Coalition Against Gun Violence
Ohio Council of Churches
Ohio Education Association
Ohio Environmental Council
Ohio Farmers Union
Ohio Student Association
Ohio Unity Coalition
Ohio Voice
Ohio Voter Rights Coalition
Policy Matters Ohio
Unitarian Universalist Justice Ohio

EDITORIAL NOTE: This guest blog post was written by Carrie Davis, executive director of the League of Women Voters of Ohio

Ohio is widely considered to be the ultimate swing state. Ohio voters have picked the winning U.S. Presidential candidate every year since 1964, routinely switching parties. So how can a state that is evenly split between supporting Democrats and Republicans have an elected legislature made up overwhelmingly by one party? The answer: gerrymandering.

Curious about how easy it is to draw political boundaries to give one party an advantage over the other? Check out this great piece from the Washington Post -- “This is the best explanation of gerrymandering you will ever see.”

Gerrymandering is not a new concept. American politicians have been manipulating district lines since the early 1800s to make sure their party won, often creating oddly shaped districts in the process. The term “gerrymander” was coined when then-Governor of Massachusetts Elbridge Gerry created a district shaped like a salamander.

No offense to Governor Gerry, but Ohio has raised the practice to an art form, one that involves “packing and cracking,” as reported by the Columbus Dispatch.

Predictable Results: A Report from the League of Women Voters of Ohio Comparing 2011 Gerrymandering to the 2012 and 2014 Election Results (PDF) concluded that Ohio’s legislative districts are rigged to yield completely predictable results. Voters can predict with 97 percent to 100 percent accuracy which party will win every single legislative race in the state, because the districts are that rigged.

In fact, the party that drew the maps received 57 percent of the total votes statewide for Congress but managed to win 75 percent of the Congressional seats by packing the opposing party into as few seats as possible.

Ohio may be a swing state in picking a president, but the maps guarantee no swing in the legislature.

So this is illegal, right? Wrong. When the disfavored political party sued, claiming that the maps and process violated the rules in the state constitution, the Ohio Supreme Court declared that the rules are discretionary.

The result is that Ohio has become a Wild, Wild West for unchecked gerrymandering.

Fret not, fair reader, for there is a solution to this manipulation of voter intent. The Ohio League and a diverse group of supporters hope to pass a ballot issue this fall to amend the state constitution to change how Ohio draws legislative districts.

Supporters of reform have a very simple way of explaining the goal: Fair Districts = Fair Elections.

We’re working to ensure election integrity by preventing politicians from manipulating our elections system for their benefit. We believe our elections should be fair, free and accessible to all voters and that entails voters picking their representatives, not the other way around.

If approved by voters this fall, the state constitution will be amended to make sure we have clear rules for redistricting that are binding and reflect voting patterns; require a transparent process with public input; and establish a bipartisan commission that can only approve maps with votes from both parties.

If fair districts supporters win on the ballot this fall, the new legislative districts drawn after the next census should more accurately reflect the “swing” in swing state.