In response to numerous inquiries about the Fair Districts campaign, here are some FAQs on the process, timing, and trainings for the congressional redistricting reform ballot campaign: Process
When can we start circulating petitions? The campaign is currently working through the process required to get approval to circulate petitions. That process must be completed before petitions can be printed in order for any signatures collected to be valid.
On Wednesday, May 10, the Fair Districts campaign submitted the proposed ballot language and amended summary along with over 3,000 preliminary signatures to begin the approval process. The Ohio Attorney General will review our submission and has up to 10 days to determine whether the summary is a true and accurate representation of the proposal. May 22 is the deadline for the Attorney General to issue a determination on the revised summary. Once the summary is approved by the Attorney General, the state Ballot Board has an additional 10 days to review the proposal to ensure it deals with no more than one issue and does not establish a commercial monopoly. Once the campaign receives approval from both the Attorney General and the Ballot Board, we will print petitions and disseminate them as quickly as possible. Timing
When do we have to file signatures? To make the 2017 ballot, the filing deadline is July 5. It's far more likely that we will continue to collect signatures all summer, file sometime in the fall, and the issue would appear on the November 2018 ballot. Because signatures do not have an expiration date, we can keep collecting and turn them in whenever we have enough.
Does it matter whether we file in the year 2017 or 2018? The reform, if approved by voters, won't go into effect until district lines are redrawn following the 2020 US Census. So from a legal standpoint, reform needs to be passed before 2020 and it could appear on the ballot in 2017, 2018, or 2019. From a practical standpoint, there are pros and cons for 2017 and 2018 related to anticipated voter turnout and what else will be on the ballot each year. However, given the narrow window of time between now and July 5, being on the 2018 ballot is far more likely.
How many signatures do we need? We need to file a little over 300,000 signatures, including a minimum number in 44 of the 88 counties. In reality, that means we need to collect double that (600,000) to be safe. The campaign is in the process of identifying which counties to focus on for the 44 county requirement, and that information will be shared with volunteers in those areas. Trainings
Where can I find information and sign up for trainings? The Fair Districts campaign has been hosting trainings all over the state and we add more each week, including both in-person and online options.
How can I get training in my area? Many of the campaign's trainings are intended to "train the trainers" and enable local groups to hold their own trainings to build a strong volunteer base in their area.
If you would like to schedule or request a training in your area, please use the "contact" link on the Fair Districts website to submit your request, and we will work with you and trained volunteers in your area to set one up. Other ways to support
How can I donate money to support the Fair Districts campaign? Checks can be made payable to "Fair Congressional Districts for Ohio" and mailed to: Fair Congressional Districts for Ohio c/o League of Women Voters of Ohio 17 S. High St. Suite 650 Columbus, OH 43215 You may also donate online to the League of Women Voters of Ohio at www.lwvohio.org/donate and write "Fair Districts" in the memo field. Want more information? A recording that answers redistricting reformers' most frequently asked questions is now available online. Click here to view the recording at your convenience.