League of Women Voters of Ohio and Common Cause Ohio Release a New Report Exploring Gerrymandering and History of Reform Efforts
On Thursday, October 26, the Congressional Redistricting Working Group held its first public hearing.
This bipartisan, joint committee is composed of State Representatives Kirk Schuring (R-Canton) and Jack Cera (D-Bellaire) and Senators Matt Huffman (R-Lima) and Vernon Sykes (D-Akron). Huffman and Sykes were the co-sponsors of the state redistricting reform measure approved by voters as state Issue 1 in 2015.
The Working Group is tasked with gathering public input on congressional redistricting reform and proposing reform recommendations. The legislature is then expected to turn those reform proposals into a piece of legislation to be debated and voted on by the legislature in time to put it before voters, perhaps as soon as the May 2018 primary election.
During the Working Group’s first public forum on October 26, they heard more than two hours of testimony from witnesses, all of whom argued in favor of reform. Watch a video recording of the hearing here.
Witnesses included voter rights and Fair Districts campaign leaders and volunteers from around Ohio.
Read some of the highlights in news coverage from the Cleveland Plain Dealer, Columbus Dispatch, and Ohio Public Radio Statehouse News Bureau.
On Thursday, to highlight Ohio’s very long history of gerrymandering and the many times the legislature could have enacted new, fairer rules, the League of Women Voters of Ohio and Common Cause Ohio released a new report, “Ohio’s Gerrymandering Problem: Why Haven’t We Fixed This Yet?”
The October 26 hearing room was packed with supporters of the Fair Districts campaign, many wearing Fair Districts t-shirts and buttons or carrying signs. THANK YOU for helping show legislators how much ending gerrymandering means to Ohio!
Photos taken by Jan Underwood of the League of Women Voters of Greater Dayton.