COLUMBUS — The ACLU of Ohio announced today that it neither supports nor opposes Issue 1, a proposed amendment to the state constitution which creates a new process for congressional redistricting. The ballot initiative only deals with the process of drawing federal congressional districts and would not impact state legislative districts. Issue 1 will appear on the May 2018 primary election ballot in Ohio.
“Issue 1 simply does not go far enough to reform the redistricting process in Ohio,” said Mike Brickner, senior policy director at the ACLU of Ohio. “While there are some benefits to Issue 1, it still allows for partisan gerrymandering. We need a better process – with better rules – to ensure Ohio voters are appropriately represented in congressional elections.”
Issue 1 requires a higher degree of public oversight in the redistricting process, includes strengthened requirements for compact and contiguous districts, and creates limitations on local communities from being split. The proposal would create a process with four new methods for drawing district maps. Three of these methods require varying levels of bipartisan support, while one of the four requires no bipartisanship whatsoever.
“In the event that bipartisan compromise cannot be reached, the rules allow for more power to be wielded by the majority party,” added Brickner. “The moment we codify methods which allow one party – the majority party – to make the rules, we lose any chance of fair and just representation. We applaud the parts of the initiative which ensure public oversight and community input, but the process could easily disintegrate back to a wholly partisan power grab, which is never in the voter’s best interest.”
For more information, read our Issue 1 FAQ sheet.