State Issue 4: Amended Certified Ballot Language
PROPOSED CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENT
(Proposed by Initiative Petition)
To amend Article XI of the Constitution of the State of Ohio.
To provide for the creation of a state redistricting commission with responsibility for creating legislative districts, this amendment would:
- Replace the current provisions of Article XI of the Ohio Constitution, including the two existing separate processes for creating legislative districts and for electing representatives to Congress and representatives and senators to the Ohio General Assembly with a new state commission.
- Provide that the new commission would be composed of five members, two of whom would be chosen by sitting judges, and the remaining members appointed by the first two or chosen by lot. The terms of the members of the commission shall be until the later of the adoption of the redistricting plans required to be adopted under the Article or the conclusion of all litigation in any court regarding such plans or the commission’s responsibilities, actions or operations.
- Provide that a primary criterion to be utilized by the new commission in creating legislative districts would be to ensure that the districts are competitive, according to a mathematical formula contained in the Amendment.
- Provide that the commission must adopt a qualifying plan with the highest “competitiveness number,” as defined in the proposed Amendment. The Amendment defines the “competitiveness number” of a plan by a mathematical formula, that is the product of the number of balanced districts multiplied by two, plus the total number of other remaining competitive districts, minus the total number of unbalanced uncompetitive districts multiplied by two. The competitiveness number for a general assembly plan is the sum of the competitiveness number for the house of representatives districts and the competitiveness number for the senate districts. Provide that the “measure of competition” of a legislative district be based on a calculation using the two average partisan indexes for the district, which are calculated on the basis of the percentage of votes received by each of the two partisan candidates who received the two highest vote totals statewide in each of the three closest general elections during the four previous even-numbered years prior to adopting a redistricting plan, keeping the index for one of the partisan affiliations always as the minuend and the index for the other partisan affiliation always as the subtrahend from district to district throughout a redistricting plan.
- Provide that the commission may consider whether to alter a plan to preserve communities of interest based on geography, economics, or race, so long as the reconfiguration does not result in a competitiveness number that is more than two points lower for a congressional plan and four points lower for a general assembly plan.
- Provide that the commission may design and adopt a redistricting plan if the plan meets the same criteria and has a competitive number equal to or greater than each submitted qualifying plan.
- Provide a method for the commission to assign state districts for senators whose terms do not expire at the end of the first even-numbered year following adoption of the plan.
- Provide that legislative district boundaries shall change in 2007 and, thereafter, every year ending in one following a federal decennial census.
- Provide that the supreme court of Ohio has exclusive original jurisdiction involving redistricting plans adopted under the amendment, but limits such jurisdiction to ordering the commission to perform duties required under the amendment and prohibit the court from revising or adopting a plan.
- Provide for open meetings, public hearings, and certain public record requirements regarding the activities of the commission.
- Provide that the general assembly must appropriate sufficient funds for the commission to perform its duties. The commission may expend funds as it, in its discretion, deems necessary
A majority yes vote is necessary for passage.
SHALL THE PROPOSED AMENDMENT BE ADOPTED?