Press Release: Redistricting Campaign on Pace to Set Petitioning Record, Riding Wave of Grassroots Enthusiasm for Congressional Reform
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
July 31, 2017
Carrie Davis, LWV Ohio, 614-469-1505
Catherine Turcer, Common Cause Ohio, 614-579-5509
David Miller, The Ohio Environmental Council, 419-944-1986
COLUMBUS, OH - The Fair Congressional Districts for Ohio ballot issue campaign marked Monday's financial filing deadline by celebrating the unprecedented success of its grassroots volunteer petitioning effort.
"Unlike so many initiatives that are driven by out-of-state wealthy special interests, our campaign is led by the people of Ohio," said Jeff Cabot, Fair Congressional Districts for Ohio's treasurer. "Take a look at our campaign finance reports and you will see that our support comes from good-government groups who are based in Ohio and care about our communities, along with a long list of small-dollar donations from everyday Ohioans, our friends and neighbors."
"We've been fortunate to have an amazing outpouring of volunteer and partner support that has kept our expenses low," said Heather Taylor-Miesle, Executive Director of The Ohio Environmental Council. "We've had a constant flow of volunteers in and out of our office picking up and dropping off petitions. It's clear that Ohioans are eager and ready to put in the work to ensure we get fair congressional districts across the state."
Earlier this month, Fair Congressional Districts for Ohio and the Fair Districts = Fair Elections Coalition announced that in just the first month of petitioning, redistricting reformers from all over Ohio collected more than 100,000 signatures. More than 2,400 volunteers fanned out across the state and collected signatures from voters in all 88 counties, and eight counties already surpassed the 5% needed to file from half the counties in the state.
"This is incredible, and thanks to a wave of grassroots volunteer enthusiasm, we are on pace for a record-breaking campaign," said Carrie Davis of the League of Women Voters of Ohio. "Historically, Ohio initiatives have gathered from 5 to 20 percent of their signatures using volunteers, having to rely on paid circulators to collect the rest. We are over a third of the way to the number of signatures needed, due exclusively to volunteers. As far as we know, no initiative campaign in Ohio has done this before, let alone in just one month."
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).
"In 2015, Ohio voters overwhelmingly supported redistricting reform for our state legislature. Issue 1 of 2015 passed by more than 71 percent of the vote and won in all 88 counties," said Common Cause's Catherine Turcer. "It's clear Ohio voters are just as hungry to support redistricting reform for our congressional districts."
Pictures of volunteers