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Citizen Groups Continue To Collect Signatures For Redistricting Proposal, Just In Case

Karen Kasler
Statehouse News Bureau
Petition signatures for proposed citizen-led redistricting issue.

Issue 1, the proposed redistricting plan, continues to rack up support ahead of its appearance on the May ballot. Although backers are optimistic it will pass, they’re not putting all of their eggs in this election’s basket.

The central committee for the Ohio Republican Party voted this week to endorse the ballot issue, which would change rules for drawing Congressional districts. The Ohio Democratic party endorsed the measure last month.

And while citizen groups think this proposal will succeed, Beth Taggart with the Ohio League of Women Voters says volunteers continue to collect petition signatures to put a similar plan on the ballot in November if necessary.

“We’ve got more than 213,000 right now, and we want to make sure redistricting reform is in place,” Taggart said.

If the redistricting issue fails in May, the Fair Districts Fair Elections coalition will need to submit more than 300,000 valid petition signatures to put their plan before voters this fall.

Issue 1 would create multiple rounds of map-making, requiring a certain level of input from the state’s minority party to prevent partisan gerrymandering. The proposal also sets limits for how many times a county can be split, as a way to keep communities together.

Jo Ingles is a professional journalist who covers politics and Ohio government for the Ohio Public Radio and Television for the Ohio Public Radio and Television Statehouse News Bureau. She reports on issues of importance to Ohioans including education, legislation, politics, and life and death issues such as capital punishment.