The Ohio electorate will have the opportunity to pass a proposed amendment to the Ohio Constitution that would create a new format for redistricting state elections following the 2020 census. The effect of the U.S. Supreme Court’s recent redistricting decision on Ohio law, however, is not yet clear, according to experts in the field. Ohio’s proposed amendment, which will appear on the November ballot as Issue 1, was passed by a bipartisan Ohio legislature in December 2014 as HJR 12, led by two outgoing legislators– Democrat Vernon Sykes and Republican Matthew Huffman.
It is a reimagining of how the current seven-person redistricting panel could work in a bipartisan fashion, but it is only applicable to the state legislative elections and not the federal legislative district elections, said Carrie L. Davis, executive director of the Ohio League of Women Voters.
She said Issue 1 has the support of several organizations that include OLWV and the Ohio State Bar Association which opposed Issue 2 in 2012––Ohio’s previous attempt at taking redistricting reform to the voters.
Sykes and Huffman, who were both term-limited out of legislative office, now are acting as co-chairs of the Issue 1 effort, a “bipartisan coalition effort” called “Fair Districts for Ohio” (http://fairdistrictsforohio.com).
At its core, the constitutional amendment of Issue 1 would keep the same basic structure of the current redistricting panel, but will require at least two members of each of the two major political parties to agree to any changes in the electoral districts, said Davis.
The proposed Ohio redistricting committee would be comprised of seven members which include the governor, the state auditor, the secretary of state and one individual each appointed by the speaker of the house, the house leader of the other, largest political party, he president of the state senate the senate leader of the other largest political party.
Full Article: The Akron Legal News.