OAR supports passage of State Issue 1
By Greg Hrabcak, 2015 OAR President
The 28,000-member Ohio Association of REALTORS® has endorsed a bipartisan, common-sense initiative designed to improve the process of drawing state legislative districts in Ohio.
State Issue 1, which will appear on the Nov. 3 ballot, seeks to create a bipartisan redistricting commission to draw Ohio legislative districts that are more balanced and competitive. The measure, which was unanimously approved by the Ohio House of Representatives and Ohio Senate, has garnered the support of a broad coalition of organizations, including Ohio’s Democratic and Republican parties, labor and business groups, along with diverse policy and civic organizations.
REALTORS® support State Issue 1 because it offers a new approach to drawing legislative districts, one that does not favor one political party over another and will bring about more competitive campaigns.
This measure will bring about reforms in several key areas:
- Creates a new seven-member bipartisan panel called the “Ohio Redistricting Commission.”
- The commission must have at least two members from the minority party.
- Requires the commission to be co-chaired by two members, one chosen by each party.
- Requires at least two votes from each party in order to approve a district plan, otherwise a temporary plan is put in place and the commission must reconvene to redraw it.
- Requires all commission meetings to be open to the public and broadcast by electronic means of transmission using a medium readily accessible by the general public.
- The commission must hold a minimum of three public hearings.
- Before voting on a district plan, the commission is required to present the proposal to the public and seek input.
- Requires the commission to submit a statement to the public explaining their process.
- Protects against gerrymandering by prohibiting any district from primarily favoring one political party.
- Requires districts to closely following the state preferences of the voters.
- Creates a process for the Ohio Supreme Court to order the commission to redraw the map if the plan favors one political party.
- Keeps our communities together by requiring a district plan to split as few counties, municipal corporations and townships as possible.
For more information about Fair Districts For Ohio, click here.