In 2015, Ohioans overwhelmingly voted for a Constitutional amendment that changes how legislative districts are drawn. The message was clear; we want and end to partisan gerrymandering and fair districts. The initial proposal from the Republican members ignores the will of the voters and is wholly unacceptable.
The Constitution calls for representational fairness—the number of districts favoring one party should closely correspond with the statewide preferences of voters. In statewide elections over the last 10 years, Republicans have averaged approximately 55% of the vote while Democrats have averaged 45% of the vote. Therefore, the districts that favor each party should fall roughly on those lines. The proposed plan under consideration brazenly would have two-thirds of the House and Senate districts favoring Republicans—a veto-proof supermajority. Further, the proposed plan fails to adequately ensure the political voice of communities of color in the state—a violation of the Voting Rights Act.
There is still a chance for a bipartisan agreement, but time is running out. Take action by emailing the members of the Ohio Redistricting Commission today. Please adapt the sample email using the button below by sharing why this issue is important to you and/or using the suggested talking points.
- In 2015, 71% of Ohio voters supported redistricting reform. We sent a clear message that we want an end to partisan gerrymandering. We demand fair maps.
- Gerrymandering is counter to democracy. It allows elected officials to pick their voters and keep power by diluting the will of the voters.
- Having fair districts and competitive elections give us a more responsive government. Otherwise, critical issues such as school funding get ignored.
- For the last decade, Republicans won 55% of the statewide vote. The proposed maps would give Republicans a two-thirds supermajority of districts. This does not reflect how Ohioans vote and violates the Constitutional amendment passed by voters.
- Ohio has lived under some of the most gerrymandered maps in the country. But these proposed maps are even worse.
- Federal law requires communities of color to have real pathways to political representation. Republican leadership directed staff to draw districts that ignore racial representation.
- A bipartisan approach is needed. A majority of the Commission, including both Democrats, must vote in for a plan for it to go into effect for 10 years. So far state leaders have failed to have an open or bipartisan process.
- Ignoring the clear will of Ohio’s voters in order to maintain power for one party is politics at its worst and a failure of leadership.
Use the button to take action and demand fair districts by sending an email to Commission members.