Among eight potential statewide ballot issues this November is a constitutional amendment that would create a non-partisan, independent citizens commission which would be responsible for drawing legislative and congressional boundaries in Ohio.
In an effort to craft congressional and legislative districts based more on logic or common sense than partisan election strategy, politicians or lobbyists would be ineligible for the commission.
Now, Ohio's apportionment board includes the governor, auditor of state, secretary of state, one person chosen by the speaker of the house of representatives and the leader in the senate of the political party of which the speaker is a member, and one person chosen by the legislative leaders in the two houses of the major political party of which the speaker is not a member.
In other words, to the victors go the seats on the board; most recently, it included Gov. John Kasich, State Auditor Dave Yost, Secretary of State Jon A. Husted and State Sen. Tom Niehaus - all Republicans - plus State Rep. Armond Budish, a Democrat.
Under the proposed amendment, formation of the citizens commission would be a multi-step process. The procedure to pick the 12 members - four from each major party and four independents - is less drawn out than, say, Ohio's 6th Congressional District.
Democrats controlled the apportionment board in 1971 and 1981. Republicans controlled the apportionment board in 1991, 2001 and 2011. Who will control redistricting in 2021? That, you can help decide. Supporters of the proposed amendment need to collect more than 386,000 valid signatures from at least half of Ohio's 88 counties by July 4 if they hope to get it on the November ballot. Yes, the deadline is Independence Day. Perhaps that's not a coincidence.
On the Web