Ohio

Overview

Ohio Redistricting Process

Congressional

Ohio has a multi-stage process for the creation of its Congressional map.

If 60% of the General Assembly votes in favor of a redistricting plan (including 50% of all Republican members and 50% of all Democrat members) and the map is signed by the Governor, it will be in effect for the entire decade.

If a redistricting plan cannot reach that threshold of support then the Ohio Redistricting Commission (made up of the Governor, Auditor, Secretary of State, a member chosen by the Speaker of the House, a member chosen by the Senate President, a member chosen by the House Minority Leader, and a member chosen by the Senate Minority Leader) has an opportunity to enact a plan for a decade if it can agree to a map with the support of at least two members of each major political party no later than the last day of October of that year.

If the Commission fails to reach the required level of bipartisan consensus the General Assembly receives another opportunity to enact a plan for the decade. During this second attempt a plan needs only to be supported by one-third of the members of each major political party and be signed by the Governor.

If a redistricting plan cannot reach that threshold of support then the General Assembly may enact a plan for four years with a majority vote and the Governor’s signature. If the General Assembly enacts a map this way the plan must not unduly favor or disfavor a political party and should maintain whole governmental units, with the order of preference being counties, townships, and municipal corporations. Upon the four year expiration date of a plan, the map drawing process starts again in the same order as described above.

A Legislative Task Force aids the Ohio General Assembly in its task of drawing congressional districts. The Legislative Task Force is made up of three persons appointed by the President of the Ohio Senate, and three appointed by the Speaker of the Ohio House.

Legislative

The Ohio Redistricting Commission is responsible for drawing the state’s legislative lines. The seven-member commission is made up of the Governor, Auditor, Secretary of State, a member chosen by the Speaker of the House, a member chosen by the Senate President, a member chosen by the House Minority Leader, and a member chosen by the Senate Minority Leader.

At least two members of each party must vote for a plan for it to be enacted for ten years. If the Commission is unable to reach that level of bipartisan support, the Commission may only enact a redistricting plan for four years.

The Commission must publicly release their proposed plan and hold at least three public hearings across the state to present the plan and seek public input. All Commission meetings are open to the public and must be broadcasted electronically such that it is available to the general public.

A Legislative Task Force aids the Ohio Redistricting Commission in establishing legislative districts using the new census information. The Legislative Task Force is made up of three persons appointed by the President of the Ohio Senate, and three appointed by the Speaker of the Ohio House.

Source: Ohio Const. art. XI; art. XIX. Ohio Rev. Code §103.51.


Ballot Measure Process

Kinds of Ballot Measures
Direct and indirect initiatives and referendums are permitted to amend statutes. Direct initiatives are permitted to amend the state Constitution. Legislatively initiated ballot measures may amend both statutes and the Constitution.

Single-Subject Rule
There is a single-subject rule.

Initiative Subject Restrictions
Initiatives cannot contain measures involving property taxes, non-legislative issues, or the establishment of monopolies.

Signature Requirements
1000 preliminary signatures are required for all petitions.

The signature requirement for constitutional amendments is 10% of all votes cast for all candidates for governor in the previous gubernatorial election, 3% for all other initiatives (this will send the initiative to the State Legislature, and should the Legislature not enact the proposal, another 3% may be collected to send the initiative to the people), and 6% for a veto referendum. 4,429,582 people voted for a candidate for governor in the 2018 General Election in Ohio, so 442,958 signatures are required for constitutional amendments, 132,887 signatures are required for any other initiative, and 265,774 signatures are required for a veto referendum. Signatures must be obtained from at least 44 of Ohio's 88 counties. For constitutional amendments, from each of the 44 counties, signatures must equal at least 5% of votes cast for governor in that county in previous election. This number is 1.5% for initiated statutes (for first and second collections) and 3% for referendums.

Submission Deadlines
Constitutional amendments must be submitted 125 days before the election in which it is to be on the ballot (July 1, 2020). Statutory initiatives must be submitted no less than ten days prior to convening the Legislature (December 27, 2019). Should the Legislature not enact the measure within four months, supplemental signatures must be submitted within 90 days of the Legislature’s failure to enact or otherwise act upon the initiative. The petition must also be filed no less than 125 days before the election at which the initiative is to be placed on the ballot. Referendums must be submitted within 90 days after the end of the targeted law is passed. If a referendum petition is filed when there is less than 125 days before the next election, the referendum vote will be placed on the ballot at the next regular or general election that occurs over a year later. For all petitions, if signatures are deemed insufficient or invalid, petitioners are permitted an additional 10 days to collect and file additional signatures.

Circulation Period
There is no limit to the circulation period.

Ballot Title and Summary
The Ballot Title and Summary are written by the proponent, subject to approval by the Secretary of State. Expedited reviews for Titles and Summaries are not permitted.

Other Requirements
A fiscal impact statement is required. Circulators are required to be at least 18 years old and have a permanent residence in the state. There are no supermajority requirements. The General Assembly can amend or repeal an approved statute through a majority vote. Constitutional amendments can be altered by the General Assembly through a three-fifths vote in both chambers as well as a majority vote of the people. Initiatives are permitted on general and off-year election ballots, but not on primary and special election ballots.

Source: Ohio Const. art. II; XVI. Ohio Rev. Code §§ 35.3501, 35.3519. Ohio Attorney General Website


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