HISTORY OF REDISTRICTING

Learn more about how we got here.

The reforms already passed have led us to this moment.

It is up to us to hold our mapmakers accountable with the new rules we voted to create.

2018 Redistricting Reform

On January 17, 2018, state Senator Matt Huffman (R-Lima) introduced Senate Joint Resolution 5 (SJR 5).  This congressional redistricting reform proposal was amended and was approved overwhelmingly by Democrats and Republicans in the Ohio Senate and House and became Issue 1 on May 2018's ballot.  Ohio voters then overwhelmingly supported these congressional redistricting reforms.

Issue 1 of May 2018 won in all 88 counties with 74.85% of the vote!  

2015 Redistricting Reform

Ohio voters sent a loud message with the 2015 Election! More than 71% of Ohio voters supported a new bipartisan system to draw state legislative district lines. This gave us better rules for this year.

 

Issue 1 of 2015 tackled gerrymandering at the Ohio House and Ohio Senate Districts and won in all 88 counties.

US Supreme Court Ruling on Gerrymandering

In 2019, we filed a lawsuit arguing that Ohio's 2011 gerrymandered congressional districts were unconstitutional. Members of Fair Districts Ohio had hoped this lawsuit would force map makers to draw fair districts. Unfortunately, the US Supreme Court’s decision in a different case about North Carolina gerrymandering meant that the Supreme Court was going to duck its responsibilities to reign in gerrymandering. The majority of justices said that it is up to the states to stop it. This prevented our lawsuit from moving forward. Now, any future lawsuits will have to be taken through Ohio's state Supreme Court.

You can find out more about the case from the Brennan Center for Justice.

A New Species of Monster: Who put the "Gerry" in Gerrymandering?

All the way back to the 1800s (!) politicians have engaged in drawing districts to make it easier to win elections. One particular district was so ugly and unfair, a newspaper though it looked like a snake or lizard monster. The creator of this district was Massachusetts Governor Elbridge Gerry. The newspaper took his name and created the "new monster" called Gerrymander, filling his name in for salamander.

Learn more about the history from Brookings Institute.