FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Tuesday, May 8, 2018
David Miller, Coalition for Redistricting Reform
(419) 944-1986, DMiller@theoec.org
Columbus, Ohio – Ohio voters overwhelmingly approved State Issue 1, which will create a new process for drawing congressional districts. The plan requires an open, bipartisan process with strict limits on how maps can be drawn to help prevent partisan gerrymandering. Here are statements from leaders of the Coalition for Redistricting Reform, which managed the Issue 1 campaign:
Ohio Senate President Larry Obhof (R-Medina): “Voter approval of Issue 1 marks the conclusion of an historic bipartisan compromise. This new redistricting process will make legislators work together for the common goal of serving the people. At a time when coming together isn’t easy, I applaud the wide variety of groups and voters with diverse political views who supported this important reform effort.”
Ohio Senate Minority Leader Kenny Yuko (D-Richmond Heights): “Tonight, Ohioans spoke loud and clear about the need for a fair, open, and bipartisan process for drawing congressional districts. With the passage of Issue 1, voters ensured that congressional districts will be drawn fairly, create more competitive elections, and result in a more responsive democracy.”
Ohio House Speaker Pro Tem Kirk Schuring (R-Canton): “It’s not often that both sides of the aisle come together to support something as challenging as congressional redistricting reform. I’m glad we were able to get this done and I’m confident it will result in an improved bipartisan map-drawing process.”
Ohio House Minority Leader Fred Strahorn (D-Dayton): “By overwhelmingly supporting Issue 1, Ohioans made sure that the next time congressional districts are drawn, they’ll be created with bipartisan support and in a way that keeps communities together. I want to offer a sincere thank you to all the volunteers who worked day in and day out to push us to this point. We couldn’t have gotten this done without them.”
Ohio League of Women Voters, Ann Henkener: “Ohio voters have made their voices heard and sent a clear message that they want a fair, transparent government that works for them. The approval of Issue 1 means an end to extreme partisan gerrymandering after decades of work by the League of Women Voters and countless hours of effort from committed activists. The groups behind the petition drive will be laying down our clipboards and working together to make these reforms work for Ohioans.”
Issue 1 was a legislatively referred constitutional amendment originally known as Senate Joint Resolution 5. On Feb. 5, 2018, SJR 5 was overwhelmingly approved by members of both parties in the Ohio House and Senate.
This measure passed due to a bipartisan compromise following months of negotiations at the statehouse, led by a working group that included State Senators Matt Huffman (R-Lima) and Vernon Sykes (D-Akron), as well as House Members Kirk Schuring (R-Canton) and Jack Cera (D-Bellaire). It was also the result of years of advocacy for redistricting reform by a wide range of good-government organizations.
Congressional districts are re-drawn every ten years to adjust for population changes and to keep every congressional district proportional. The new process created by Issue 1 will take effect during the next redraw following the 2020 census, in time for the 2022 election cycle.
The Issue 1 campaign was led by a bipartisan team of advisers, which included former Ohio House Majority Chief of Staff Mike Dittoe, former Ohio House Minority Chief of Staff Keary McCarthy, Ohio Environmental Council Executive Director Heather Taylor-Miesle, and former Ohio Senate Majority Chief of Staff Jason Mauk. For more information, please visit: ohioredistrictingreform.com.