Although anything is possible during Lame Duck, it looks like House Joint Resolution 19 is dead for the year. Our efforts have managed to stop this ballot-busting resolution in its tracks.
HJR19 had its sixth and final hearing Wednesday (12/12). Bill Lyons presented excellent opposing testimony in the House Government Oversight and Accountability Committee, and a couple of other statements against the resolution were entered into the record. There were no questions and no discussion, and, most importantly, NO VOTE.
In all the hearings, 31 individuals and groups presented opposing testimony, and only one group argued in favor of the resolution (and he represented a group that hired paid signature collectors and hasn't done a ballot measure since 2004). Our coalition also presented the Committee with a letter signed by about 90 organizations speaking out against the resolution.
In addition there have been numerous editorials in newspapers across the state speaking out against the ballot-blocking resolution, and none that have come out solidly in favor. Here’s a sampling:
Ohio may make it harder for public to put issues on statewide ballot (Dayton Daily News)
Ohio League of Women Voters among dozens of groups opposing GOP ballot issue changes (Columbus Dispatch)
Note to lawmakers - Ohioans have a constitutional right to propose ballot issues: Thomas Suddes (Cleveland.com)
Amending The Amendment Process: Ohio May Raise Bar For Ballot Issues (WOSU)
Groups coalesce to fight Ohio legislature’s constitutional amendment plan (Cleveland.com)
Although this bad idea is likely to come back again in some form next year, we are thrilled that our joint advocacy and outspokenness against this undemocratic resolution have killed it for now.
Many thanks to the advocates who showed up to present or submitted written testimony to the committee: Kathy Deitsch, Bill Lyons, Sandy Bolzenius, Bill Davis, Mary Nordstrom, Carolyn Harding, Charlotte Owen, Jackie Bird, Melanie Majikas, Michael Ahern, Greg Pace, Deborah Cooper, Emily Lampe, Catherine LaCroix, Heather Tuck-Macalla, Carrie Eickleberry, Valerie Mason, Andrea Yagoda, Barb Fleeter, Sue Dyke, Susan Haas, Maureen Welch, and Denis Osowski. Your efforts made a difference!
Thanks to all for everything you do, and all the best of the season from Fair Districts = Fair Elections.
Thank you for all of your work to protect and strengthen our democracy!
Many thanks to the army of committed volunteers who helped pass redistricting reform in Ohio! You collected enough signatures on the Fair Districts = Fair Elections ballot initiative to force legislators to the table. And then when Issue 1 went to the ballot in May, you worked hard to make sure it would pass overwhelmingly all across the state. We won by 75% of the vote. And we won in all 88 counties!
Thanks also to the hard core dedicated volunteers who spent hours, days, weeks and months in the Columbus office scanning petitions, validating signatures, and contacting voters. Without you, we won’t have had the metrics to highlight the strong support for ending gerrymandering.
Hats off to the volunteers who joined our November Election Protection program and assisted voters at polling places all across Ohio.
Thank you to those who joined in the conversation and attended screenings of “Dark Money” or other presentations across the state.
We really appreciate the folks who spoke to the press, submitted written testimony, or attended a hearing to try to stop the ballot-initiative busting House Joint Resolution 19.
And thanks to all of you who are, like us, gearing up the fights ahead to make government accountable, protect voters and elections, and rid our system of the corrupting influence of dark money. Common Cause and our allies will be working together as always, and relying on the dedication and tenacity of our valued volunteers.
For those in the central Ohio area, please join us at a holiday gathering next week:
On Wednesday, December 12 from 4:30-6:30 pm at King Ave 5, 945 King Ave, Columbus, 43212. Light appetizers will be provided, with a cash bar. RSVP HERE!
Happy Holidays! We improved democracy for years to come in 2018. A great big thank you to you all!
Voters were clear that we all deserve fair districts and fair elections. Issue 1 won by 74.85%!
Thanks to the hard work of redistricting reformers all over the state, voters approved a historic state constitutional amendment that will institute strong protections against the congressional partisan gerrymandering.
“Ohio voters have made their voices heard and sent a clear message that they want a fair, transparent government that works for them," said Ann Henkener of the League of Women Voters of Ohio. "The approval of Issue 1 means an end to extreme partisan gerrymandering after decades of work by the League of Women Voters and countless hours of effort from committed activists. The groups behind the petition drive will be laying down our clipboards and working together to make these reforms work for Ohioans.”
In 2015, the Fair Districts = Fair Elections Coalition worked to pass state legislative redistricting reform. Issue 1 of the May 2018 primary ballot focused on congressional redistricting reform.
“Ohioans never gave up on the fight to end the manipulation of congressional districts for political advantage and today our efforts paid off,” said Catherine Turcer, executive director of Common Cause Ohio. “Today, Ohio voters are the winners. I would like to thank all the redistricting reformers and activists.”
Questions? Contact Catherine Turcer at 614-579-5509.
A big thank you to all the redistricting reformers who have been working hard to get out the vote!
Please help push Issue 1 passed the finish line:
And stop by the Election Night Watch Party. 7:00pm - 11:00pm at the Fawcett Center, 2400 Olentangy River Rd, 43210. Click on the link for a parking pass to print out. Please join us so we can celebrate together!
Do you have a great photo? Please send it to email@example.com.
A big thank you to all the redistricting reformers working to pass Issue 1!
Want to help on Election Day? Please send an email to Fair Districts =Fair Elections firstname.lastname@example.org.
By Catherine Turcer, Common Cause Ohio
Let’s have some fun and get the word out about Issue 1! And then let’s get together and celebrate our hard work slaying the gerrymander on Election Night.
Redistricting reformers across Ohio are making calls, talking to voters, doing honk and waves, handing out yard signs, and so much more, and we are so grateful to all of you for your dedication to this campaign.
In the final week, here are the three things we need you to do:
Join a Honk and Wave: On Thursday May 3, spread the word to voters to tell them to vote Yes on Issue 1. We plan to stand at busy corners and overpasses during lunch hour with Issue 1 yard signs and signs that say "Honk if you support Redistricting Reform!" Look to see if there is an event near you, or tell us if you would like to organize or host your own. We plan to take a ton of photos and saturate social media statewide! This should be fun, and a great way to spread the word in the week before the election. Please use the hashtags #Honk4FairDistricts #YesonIssue1 #FairMaps so that your photos and events will show up in social media searches.
Talk to Voters on Election Day: We need your help on Election Day! Many voters are unaware of Issue 1, and polling is showing that this could be tight! Voters tend to vote "No" when they are unsure about a ballot issue. Your encouragement as they head into the polls could make all the difference.
Sign up to distribute flyers at a polling place near you on Election Day, May 8. Shifts are flexible. Complete the form and we will be in touch to help you find a busy polling place and make sure you have flyers to distribute. Thank you for helping us reach the finish line!
Celebrate with us: Come join us for an Election night Issue 1 watch party in Columbus! Come hang out with other redistricting reformers and celebrate all our hard work slaying the Gerrymander. Have some snacks and watch the election results come in. We have been working on redistricting reform for a very long time. Let's take a few hours to celebrate all of our efforts! The party is from 7:00pm-11:00pm at the Fawcett Center, 2400 Olentangy River Rd, Columbus, OH 43210. More details.
Thanks so much for everything you are doing, If you have any questions or have suggestions, please send us an email at email@example.com.
By Catherine Turcer, Common Cause Ohio
A big thank you to those of you who volunteered to talk with voters on Election Day!
Polls are open from 6:30am to 7:30pm on May 8.
Guidelines for Talking to Voters about Issue 1 on Election Day
Sign up for our Election Day text service by texting PRIMARY to 864237 so that we can easily communicate on May 8. When you arrive, send a text to 864237 letting us know that you arrived with your county and polling location.
If you run into any problems, please send a text to 864237 and we will get back to you as soon as possible or call 614-259-8388.
A Few Suggestions for Election Day
Problems at the Polls? Call the Election Protection Hotline 866-OUR-VOTE.
During an election and the counting of the ballots, no person shall do any of the following:
(1) Loiter, congregate, or engage in any kind of election campaigning within the area between the polling place and the small flags of the United States placed on the thoroughfares and walkways leading to the polling place, and if the line of electors waiting to vote extends beyond those small flags, within ten feet of any elector in that line;
(4) Exhibit any ticket or ballot which the elector intends to cast;
(5) Solicit or in any manner attempt to influence any elector in casting the elector's vote.
(2) Notwithstanding any provision of this section to the contrary, a journalist shall be allowed reasonable access to a polling place during an election. As used in this division, "journalist" has the same meaning as in division (B)(2) of section 2923.129 of the Revised Code.
By Catherine Turcer, Common Cause Ohio
Election Day, May 8, is less than a week away and we need your help getting the word out about Issue 1.
Educate Voters, Increase Turnout for Issue 1
Use this Facebook frame to spread awareness and show support. Print out one of these large posters to put in a car window!
Take part in our Statewide
Honk and Wave to Support Issue 1
Redistricting reformers will be out and about on Thursday, May 3, holding up signs saying, "Honk if you support Redistricting Reform!" etc. We plan to take a ton of photos and blast them out on social media. Alternate date Friday, May 4 if the weather is awful on Thursday.
Hashtags for this statewide event are: #Honk4FairDistricts #YesonIssue1 #FairMaps
Check out his Event Map to see if there are Honk and Waves or other events planned near you. And if you have one planned, please add your Honk4Fair Districts to the Event Map (at the same link).
If you want to help or help connecting with a local group, please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Check out and share this short video with Republican state Senator Matt Huffman and Democratic state Senator Vernon Sykes!
Interested in learning more about Issue 1? Here are some longer videos from recent events:
Ohio Ballot Beat: The Bipartisan Congressional Redistricting Reform Amendment Issue 1 Karen Kasler moderated a panel at the City Club of Cleveland which included Ohio Senate President Larry Obhoff, Ohio Senator Minority Leader Kenny Yuko and Catherine Turcer of Common Cause Ohio.
What is Issue 1? Catherine Turcer of Common Cause Ohio walks through what gerrymandering is and how it impacts elections and how Issue 1 curbs gerrymandering.
Congressional Redistricting Reform Issue 1 Information Session Watch a panel discussion about Issue 1 including Athens County Democratic Chair John Hasley, state Rep. Jay Edwards (R-Nelsonville) and Common Cause Ohio's Catherine Turcer.
Recent Editorials Supporting Issue 1:
Canton Repository, Yes for Issue 1 for Congressional Redistricting Plan, April 30, 2018
Crain's Cleveland Business, Yes on Issue 1, April 29, 2018
Kent Record-Courier, Issue 1 Deserves Your Vote, April 29, 2018
Recent Op-eds and Letters to the Editor Supporting Issue 1:
Cincinnati Enquirer, op-ed, Redistricting Proposal Unites Strange Bedfellows, April 29, 2018
Cleveland.com, op-ed. League of Women Voters Urges Yes on Issue 1 for Ohio Redistricting Reform, April 29, 2018
Dayton Daily News, commentary, Ohio Voters Get to Weigh in on Gerrymandering, April 25, 2018
Thank you for your continued help! We’re almost at the finish line. If you have any suggestions, please send Fair Districts an email or give us a phone call at 614-259-8388.
Educate Voters and Increase Voter Turnout for Issue 1
Share this video with your friends to help them understand gerrymandering and urge them to support Issue 1.
Use this Facebook frame to spread awareness and show support.
Print out one of these large posters to put in a car window!
Reach out to voters: Phone bank from home by clicking on this link.
Distribute flyers on Election Day!
Area leaders across the state are organizing volunteers to distribute flyers at busy polling places on election day. If you want to be connected with a local group organizing for Election Day, May 8, please send an email to email@example.com.
Take part in our Statewide Honk and Wave to Support Issue 1
Pro-Issue 1 activists will be out and about on Thursday, May 3, holding up signs saying, "Honk if you support Redistricting Reform!" etc. We plan to take a ton of photos and blast them out on social media. Alternate date Friday, May 4 if the weather is awful on Thursday. Hashtags for this statewide event are: #Honk4FairDistricts #YesonIssue1 #FairMaps
Attend or Host an Issue 1 Watch Party on May 8
Area groups are planning election night watch parties. Check the Event Map to see if there are events planned near you, or plan one yourself! You can add events to the map from that same link.
If you're looking for an Issue 1 yard sign, check with the Fair Districts office (firstname.lastname@example.org, 614-259-8388) or a League of Women Voters chapter near you.
Learn More about Issue 1?
Come join us at an upcoming event or presentation. Or check out this video from an event in Cincinnati.
Thank you for your continued help! We’re almost at the finish line for fair districts!
By Catherine Turcer, Common Cause Ohio
It’s Volunteer Appreciation Week and I would like to let all of the redistricting reformers know how much I appreciate everything that they have done to make Ohio elections fairer. I am incredibly moved by the hard work in rain, shine and sometimes snow. During Pride Festival and Parade I stayed in my office and volunteers picked up and dropped off petitions. Everyone looked hot but Sara Sampson from Columbus actually looked like she would melt. Kayla Sands from Avon Lake spent her short break from school in December and January collecting signatures in her neighborhood in temperatures that were about 15°F.
A big thank you to those of you who collected signatures!
Special shout out to those super volunteers that went above and beyond the call of duty: Karen Adams, Megan Albaugh, Ronald Baer, Barbara Beardsley, Gayle Butler, Cassandra Casto,Bruce Catalano, Bonnie Cheng, Brenda Clark, Mary Costello, Cynthia Cromwell, Tracy Daugherty, Bill Davis, Jackie Derrow, John Donoghue, Wendy Dyer, Sue Dyke, Kari Eckel, Keith Eggeman, Rebecca Ensworth, Kathleen Estep, Ruth Farthing, Barbara Fleeter, Jamie Friday, John Gatiss, Carol Gay, Joyce Gibbs, Eileen Goldman, William Good, Megan Graff, Jessica Grim, Susan Haas, Leah Hackleman-Good, Janelle Henderson, David Hurwitz, Ann Issacs, Ann Janiak, Carl Janiak, Joan Johnson, Benita Kahn, Jan Kennedy, Jay Ketchaver, Matthew Kuhns, Catherine LaCroix, Valerie Lee, Siobhan Leftwich, Mia Lewis, Carole Lunney, Heather Tuck Macalla, Brooke MacNamara, Peter Maxwell, Aidan McFall, Douglas McGrath, Iris Meltzer, Sarah Mitchell, Adriane Mohlenkamp, Regina Miller, Marjorie Munger, Marcia Oganowski, Peter Ornella, Larry Owen, Charlotte Owens, Jack Petrella, Darcy Predieri, Cathy Presper, Beaker Prince, Christine Przybysz, Daisie Reish, Christine Rom, Sara Sampson, Deb Schelling, Janet Schultz, Joy Schwab, Barbara Sespico, Madeline Shaw, Wenda Jane Sheard, Susan Stromberg, Kathryn Swisher, JanUnderwood, Jennifer Vasarhelyi, Maureen Welch, Jean Wentzel, Cynthia White, Ellen Wurtzel, Andrea Yagoda and Dawn Zarbakhsh.
Thank you to all of you who have worked in the office and at home validating! A special shout out to Emily Adams, Sandi Allen, Michael Ahern, Faisa Anjum, Kay Barker, Kim Bean, Barbara Beardsley, Amy Birtcher, Jackie Bird, Marci Bird, Hallie Bourne, Allen Boyd, John Brown, Carl Carnevale, Wanda Carter, Brinda Copsey, Debby Cooper, Laurie Crowther, Mary Curry, Bob Dean, Jessica Dickinson, Michael Disbro, Dee Eisner, Phyllis Elmo, Linda Fedak, Chris Farley, LuCinda Flores, Diana Fowler, Sally Francis, Lynn Friedman, John Gatiss, Cathy Gebauer, Chrys
Gee, Blake Getson, Lois Gibbs, Dennis Ginty, Cheryl Grossman, Barbara Grunwell, Susan Haas, Leah Hackleman-Good, Karen Hallberg-Rozdeba, Liz Harmath, Marian Harris, Mindy Hedges, Ann Heffernan, Stacy Jackson, Joan Joanson, John Katko, Adrianna Kenworthy, Rita Kipp, Debbie Krantz, Mardie Largmann, Siobhan Leftwich, Mia Lewis, Blanche Luczyk, Carole Lunney, Bill Lyons, Brittney Madison, Linda MagotoMelanie Majikas, Angela Marvin, Jenny McLaughlin, Jody McRainey, Charles Miles, Katelyn Mowery, Al Navarro, Barb Norris, Charlie O’Keefe, Yorkow
Oppon-Acquah, Lauren Orrico, Cathy Presper, Darrel Price, Beaker Prince, Christine Przybysz, Indu Rajan, Judy Rojas, Keith Rosnell, Laura Rushton, Sara Sampson, Deb Schelling, Amanda Sebrosky, John Seikel, Jr., Madeline Shaw, Bob Shelly, Ian Sherman, Karen Sullivan, Katie Swett, Virginia Terry, Rob Thorne, Jake Toothman, Jan Underwood, Sue Wartell, Wendy Winger, Joann Wissler, Andrea Yagoda, Alex Yockey and Kathy Young.
A special thank you to Michael Baron for helping organize events and keep social media going! And a shout out to all the creative ways that you all have found to reach out to voters.
A big thank you to all the Regional Leaders working hard to organize for Issue 1!
Here are just a few helping to lead the way: Richard Asimus, Sheila Coressel, Kathy Deitsch, Sue Dyke, Sue Fiore, Susan Haas, Liz Harmath, Barbara Kaplan, Lauren Karch, Catherine LaCroix, Melanie Majikas, Kathleen McClure, Julie Mulroy, Heather Tuck-Macalla, Soni Vyas-Weit, and Lorraine Wilburn.
Many people have been working hard so that together we can slay the Mighty Gerrymander. Many redistricting reformers were not highlighted. Please send an email to email@example.com if you want us to include a special shout out for a redistricting reformer.