The Fair Districts = Fair Elections Coalition is committed to ending the hyperpartisan way in which congressional districts are manipulated by the political party in power. When in power, politicians from both major political parties have drawn the district lines to favor their own political party and rigged the districts creating uncompetitive elections or very "safe" seats for members of Congress. Fair elections are dependent upon fair districts. Mapmaking should focus on voters!
Ohio voters sent a loud message with the 2015 Election! 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.
But right after the election, Ohio House Speaker Cliff Rosenberger put plans to extend the legislative map-making reforms to Congress on the back burner. The Speaker made his opposition very clear – he suggested we wait and see how the state reforms play out. Since mapmaking only happens every ten years, we would have to wait 17 years for fair Congressional district lines. That’s simply too long!
It's now 2017 and the state legislature has failed to act on congressional redistricting reform! That's why there is now an effort to take congressional redistricting reform directly to the voters.
Legislative inaction since the passage of Issue 1 in November 2015:
There are two proposals that mirror the Issue 1 proposal were introduced last legislative session: Senate Joint Resolution 2 sponsored by state Senators Frank LaRose (R-Copley) and Tom Sawyer (D-Akron), and House Joint Resolution 2 sponsored by state Representatives Kathleen Clyde (D-Kent) and Mike Curtin (D-Columbus). Both of these resolutions received only one hearing last session.
These resolutions give the task of congressional mapmaking to the bipartisan Ohio Redistricting Commission. The commission would not be allowed to create districts that favor or disfavor one political party over another, split communities between districts, or create maps in secret. The resolutions make redistricting more balanced and transparent.
On March 1, 2017, Ohio Senator Frank La Rose (R-Copley) introduced a congressional redistricting reform proposal (Senate Joint Resolution 3) which leaves mapmaking in the hands of the state legislature.