Press Statement: Fair Congressional Districts for Ohio Announces Approval of Ballot Summary - Attorney General's approval moves reform closer to appearing on the ballot
For immediate release
Contact: Carrie Davis, LWV Ohio, 614.469.1505
Columbus, OH -- The Fair Congressional Districts for Ohio ballot proposal, a congressional redistricting reform measure that mirrors a state legislative district reform that was placed on the ballot by the legislature and won overwhelming approval from voters in 2015, is one step closer to being put before voters. The Fair Congressional Districts for Ohio campaign applauded today’s approval by the Attorney General of the proposed ballot issue summary. Next, the Ohio Ballot Board must meet to approve the measure as one ballot issue, and then the campaign can begin collecting signatures statewide.
“Today’s approval of our ballot summary by Attorney General DeWine brings us one step closer to putting Fair Congressional Districts before voters,” said Carrie Davis of the League of Women Voters of Ohio. “The Fair Congressional Districts for Ohio campaign seeks to amend the Ohio constitution to give voters a choice and a voice in our Congressional elections.”
“In 2015, Ohio voters overwhelming approved new ‘Fair Districts’ rules for how state legislative districts are drawn and we want to see Fair Districts rules for Congress too. What’s good for the Statehouse is good for Congress,” added Catherine Turcer of Common Cause Ohio.
The Attorney General rejected the ballot committee’s initial submission, with instructions to add two more points to the ballot issue summary. The committee immediately redrafted the summary, per the Attorney General’s instructions, collected additional signatures, and re-submitted it on May 10, 2017.
“We are pleased that the summary was approved by the Attorney General and look forward to the collection of more than 305,000 signatures in order put congressional redistricting reform before Ohioans,” said Heather Taylor-Miesle of the Ohio Environmental Council. “The state legislature has taken too long and redistricting advocates from all over all Ohio are eager to bring this important reform directly to the people.”
The Bipartisan Congressional Redistricting Reform Amendment would amend Article XI of the Ohio Constitution to transfer responsibility for redrawing congressional district lines to the bipartisan Ohio Redistricting Commission, whose establishment was approved by an overwhelming 71.5 percent of Ohio voters in 2015. Currently, the state legislature is responsible for drawing congressional districts and bipartisan approval is not required. The proposed reform would go into effect the next time Congressional district lines are redrawn following the 2020 census.
The Fair Congressional Districts for Ohio Ballot Committee is comprised of Carrie Davis of the League of Women Voters of Ohio, Catherine Turcer of Common Cause Ohio and Heather Taylor- Miesle of the Ohio Environmental Council.
For more information about the proposal and upcoming events and trainings, visit the Fair Districts = Fair Election Coalition’s website fairdistrictsohio.org.