It’s official — Ohioans will vote May 8 to change how the state draws congressional districts to a process supporters say will be more fair, transparent and bipartisan. The General Assembly’s proposed constitutional amendment will be Issue 1, the only statewide issue on the May primary election ballot. The Ohio Ballot Board, a bipartisan panel led by the secretary of state, met Tuesday and approved a ballot summary and arguments for and against Issue 1.
Two organizations that urged supporters to donate money to a ballot committee that is promoting a constitutional amendment in South Dakota denied Thursday that they broke state campaign finance laws. The Vote Yes on V campaign took contributions from two outside groups, Open Primaries and TakeItBack.org, that raised and collected money explicitly to back the ballot measure. While outside groups are free to donate money to ballot committees like Yes on V, state law forbids those organizations from contributing money that was “raised or collected by the organization for the purpose of influencing the ballot question.” In at least two instances, Open Primaries and TakeItBack.org solicited donations citing their efforts to fund the South Dakota amendment, said Will Mortenson, the chairman of Vote No on V. In an email last month, Open Primaries urged its supporters to donate money to Vote Yes on V, which the group promised to match two-to-one to help fund Vote Yes on V television ads. TakeItBack.org also released an email to supporters this week endorsing Amendment V.