RELATED: Reformers can move ahead with effort to change how congressional lines are drawn in Ohio
The effort is led by the coalition, Fair Districts=Fair Elections, made up of Common Cause Ohio, the League of Women Voters of Ohio, the LWV of the Greater Dayton Area, the Miami Valley Progressive Caucus and other groups.
Constitutional amendment would change how Congressional lines are drawn
The coalition must collect 305,591 signatures from registered Ohio voters by July 5 to get on this November’s ballot. If it fails to meet that deadline signature collection can continue and it could be placed on the General Election ballot in 2018 or later. The coalition wants to have it passed by voters before 2021 redistricting.
The current lines were drawn by the Republican-controlled legislature in 2011. Of the state’s 16 congressional districts, 12 are held by Republicans.
The state legislature put the 2015 constitutional amendment reforming state legislative redistricting on the ballot. But after the amendment passed Republican leaders who controlled the Statehouse said they wanted to wait to see how the reform works in 2021 before changing how Congressional districts are drawn. That would push any Congressional district reform to 2031.
RELATED: Issue One would change how legislative lines are drawn
The coalition says that isn’t soon enough to make districts more politically competitive.
“The League has been working on this issue for 40 years through Republican and Democratic administrations alike,” said Lucy Anne McKosky of the League of Women Voters of the Greater Dayton Area. “We believe the people are best served when elections are fair, when the voters choose their representatives, not the people who drew the district lines.”
RELATED: Kasich backs redistricting reform
RELATED: High court ruling may give voter rights groups a strong tool
RELATED: Issue One cruises to landslide victory