Fair Congressional Districts for Ohio announces over 100,000 signatures collected in the first month
Plus eight counties have already hit the 5% threshold
Today, Fair Congressional Districts for Ohio and the Fair Districts = Fair Elections Coalition announced that in the past month redistricting reformers from all over Ohio collected more than 100,000 signatures.
“The Fair Congressional Districts for Ohio ballot committee now has more than 100,000 signatures in hand,” said Carrie Davis, executive director of the League of Women Voters of Ohio. “This is a testament to the hard work of volunteers who are committed to fair elections and improving representational democracy. Voters know they deserve fair districts and fair elections, and many of our volunteers report that voters are thanking them for collecting signatures to stop gerrymandering.”
During this first phase of the campaign, volunteers collected signatures from voters in all 88 counties.
“This shows incredible momentum,” said Catherine Turcer of Common Cause Ohio. “We want to thank all the activists for their hard work. More than 2,000 volunteers from all over Ohio collected signatures. Working together, we can put this on the ballot next year and give Ohio voters the opportunity to end gerrymandering.”
Ohioans have been leading the way on the fight to end gerrymandering. In 2015, Ohio voters overwhelmingly supported state legislative redistricting reform. Issue 1 of 2015 passed by more than 71% of the vote and won in all 88 counties. Unfortunately, the state legislature has not acted on pleas to finish the job by putting congressional redistricting reform before the voters.
To place the Bipartisan Congressional Redistricting Reform Amendment on the ballot, the coalition of redistricting reformers will need to collect at least ten percent (10%) of the total vote cast for the office of governor at the last gubernatorial election (305,591 valid signatures).
Ohio also has a distribution requirement for the signatures. Petitioners must submit signatures equal to five percent of the county’s total number of gubernatorial votes cast in the last election from 44 of Ohio’s 88 counties. For example, if in 2014, 6,100 votes were cast for gubernatorial candidates, the campaign would be required to collect 305 signatures.
“Thanks to the amazing work of our Fair Districts volunteers, even though we’re only one month into collecting petition signatures, we already have several counties that have hit the five percent threshold,” added Turcer. “We’re hoping a little friendly competition will add several more counties to the ‘5% Club’ next month.”
The counties that reached the five percent threshold: Adams, Athens, Delaware, Franklin, Greene, Hamilton, Licking and Mercer.
To reach 10% statewide (305,591 valid signatures), it will be necessary to collect more signatures than just those required to meet the county threshold for ballot placement.
“The Fair Districts volunteer effort truly is remarkable,” concluded Davis. “Most citizen initiatives only have five to twenty percent of their signatures from volunteers and have to use paid canvassers to collect the rest. The fact that we have over 100,000 signatures from 88 counties in only one month, collected exclusively by volunteers, is a strong demonstration of how hungry Ohioans are for putting an end to gerrymandering in our state.”
Anyone interested in reading more about the Fair Congressional Districts for Ohio campaign or signing up to help is encouraged to visit www.fairdistrictsohio.org.
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