State Issue 1

Creates a bipartisan, public process for drawing legislative districts

Proposed Constitutional Amendment

(Proposed by Joint Resolution of the General Assembly)

To enact new Sections 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, and 10 of Article XI and to repeal Sections 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, and 15 of Article XI of the Constitution of the State of Ohio.

A majority yes vote is necessary for the amendment to pass.

The proposed amendment would:

• End the partisan process for drawing Ohio House and Senate districts, and replace it with a bipartisan process with the goal of having district boundaries that are more compact and politically competitive.

• Ensure a transparent process by requiring public meetings, public display of maps, and a public letter explaining any plan the Commission adopts by a simple majority vote.

• Establish the bipartisan Ohio Redistricting Commission, composed of 7 members including the Governor, the Auditor of State, the Secretary of State, and 4 members appointed by the majority and minority leaders of the General Assembly.

• Require a bipartisan majority vote of 4 members in order to adopt any final district plan, and prevent deadlock by limiting the length of time any plan adopted without bipartisan support is effective.

If passed, the amendment will become effective immediately.

LEAGUE PLAINSPEAK: Issue 1 would amend the Ohio Constitution to change the way state legislative districts (but not U.S. Congressional districts) are determined. Every 10 years, Ohio draws new legislative district lines based on changes in population as reported in U.S.Census data. Issue 1 replaces the Apportionment Board with a bipartisan Ohio Redistricting Commission.  If Issue 1 passes, members of the Commission will include: - The Governor - Auditor of State - Ohio Secretary of State - Appointee by the Speaker of the Ohio House - Appointee by the President of the Ohio Senate - Appointee by the Minoritiy Leader of Ohio House - Appointee by the Minority Leader of Ohio Senate. The Ohio Redistricting Commission will be responsible for creating district maps or the Ohio House and the Ohio Senate. Issue 1 creates more transparent map-making by requiring public hearings. If the amendment is passed, it will become part of the constitution immediately; however, the new rules for drawing districts will not be applied until the next time districts are redrawn beginning January 1, 2021, ater the next U.S. Census. Issue 1 encourages bipartisan map-making. For the maps to last ten years, at least two members of the minority party will have to vote in favor of it. If only one party supports a particular map, the district lines will only last four years. Map-making will be subjected to stricter criteria, including the requirement that the districts reflect the statewide partisan preferences of voters sometimes called representational fairness.

PROS: l. Prohibits partisan gerrymandering - "No General Assembly district plan shall be drawn primarily to favor or disfavore a party" will be written into the rules in the Ohio Constitution. 2. Requires transparency and public hearings, encouraging accountability to the electorate. 3. Districts will better protect community cohesiveness by limiting government units such as counties and cities from being split. 4. Eliminates the continuation of previous gerrymandering by removing language from the current Ohio Constitution that requires new maps to be "reasonably consistent" with old maps.

CONS: 1. Many Ohioans are not Republican or Democrat. Third parties and Independents are not represented on the Commission. 2. Issue 1 does not address the process for determining U.S. Congressional districts. 3. The Ohio Redistricting Commission is not independent from legislators; legislative members can still influence the process. 4. Bipartisan Commission members can make "sweetheart deals" that can result in districts that are not representative of the state's overall partisan preferences

League of Women Voters

The League of Women Voters has compiled information for each of the issues that Heights voters will be voting on in November.

For your information:

  • The title listed for each issue is the official title assigned by the Ohio Ballot Board.
  • Summaries of each issue immediately following the official ballot wording originated from material issued by the Cuyahoga County Board of Elections or, in the case of Issue 53, citations from the resolution submitted to the Cuyahoga Board of Elections by the Cleveland Heights City Council. 
  • LEAGUE PLAINSPEAK summaries of the state and county ballot issues were prepared by members of the League of Women Voters of Ohio Education Fund and The League of Women Voters - Cuyahoga County.
  • The pros and cons listed for each issue are abbreviated versions of the arguments put forward by the respective issue campaigns.

The League of Women Voters is a national non-partisan organization that supports or opposes issues it studies, but does not endorse candidates.

To view LWV positions on current issues, visit

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Volume 8, Issue 10, Posted 9:32 AM, 10.01.2015