COLUMBUS—State Representative Ron Young (R-Leroy Twp.) today announced that the Ohio House has approved Senate Joint Resolution 5, paving the way for historic, bipartisan redistricting reform to now go before voters on the primary ballot on May 8th.


SJR 5 ensures that Ohio’s congressional district map-making process features bipartisan support, keeps communities of interest whole and promotes districts that are compact and competitive.


“I want to make sure that every Ohioan’s vote counts,” Young said. “Today the Ohio House of Representatives took a historic step forward in an effort to improve Ohio’s election process. Since the founding of this great nation, congressional boundaries have been drawn by the majority party with very limited minority input. Gerrymandering has been considered clever politics and accepted as standard operating procedure. However, many of my colleagues and I in the Ohio legislature believe it is clearly wrong and un-American to create voting districts that are blatantly imbalanced in favor of one political party. I believe the goal of the framers of our Constitution was that voters choose their representatives and not the other way around.”


SJR 5 is the culmination of months of bipartisan talks among the House, Senate and engaged citizen groups throughout Ohio. SJR 5 aims to implement a congressional redistricting system similar to Issue 1, a 2015 ballot initiative that changed the way state House and Senate districts are drawn. Ohioans approved that ballot initiative with over 70 percent of the vote.


If passed by voters in May, Ohio’s new redistricting system would require drawing a map that earns three-fifths support by each chamber of the General Assembly, including at least 50 percent support from the minority party.


Failure to meet that threshold would send the decision to the seven-member Redistricting Commission, consisting of appointees from the Governor, Secretary of State and State Auditor, as well as two Republicans and two Democrats from the Ohio House and Senate. The commission’s goal would be to create a 10-year map that earns majority approval from the commission and approval from at least two minority party members.


Further steps are also in place should the commission fail to meet that requirement, including ultimately the General Assembly approving a temporary map lasting for four years, after which time the process begins anew to create a six-year map.


Having passed both legislative chambers, SJR 5 now heads to the Secretary of State’s office to be filed as a ballot initiative.

 
 
 
  
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