The campaign to change the way Ohio draws its Statehouse districts will spend the next four months persuading voters to say “yes” to Issue 1 on the November ballot. Fair Districts for Ohio, which kicked off its campaign Wednesday, will be chaired by the former state representatives who led the charge last year to revise the legislative redistricting process. Their plan, which passed the General Assembly with bipartisan support, requires voter approval and will appear on the November ballot as Issue 1. The plan does not change how congressional districts are drawn.
Former state Reps. Matt Huffman, a Republican, and Vernon Sykes, a Democrat, are meeting with organizations around the state to drum up support for the constitutional amendment. Huffman and Sykes touted the proposed changes as bipartisan and transparent, with rules and criteria for how to more fairly divide counties and cities.
“The public has lost faith that it’s a fair fight,” Huffman said in a news conference Wednesday. “This is about making the rules fair, not about who is going to benefit, one side or the other.”
Huffman said the proposed changes make the process more transparent by requiring the redistricting commission to hold public meetings, publicly display maps and explain its decisions in a public letter. The commission would be expanded by two members, two members would have to be from the minority party and at least two minority party votes would be required to pass a map that’s good for 10 years.