Redistricting in Ohio

From Ballotpedia
Jump to: navigation, search

Note: Redistricting takes place every ten years after completion of the United States Census. The information here pertains to the 2010 redistricting process.

Redistricting in Ohio
Policypedia-Election-logo-no background.png
General information
Partisan control:
Apportionment Board for Legislative boundaries, Ohio General Assembly for Congressional boundaries
October 5, 2011-Legislative Only.
Total seats
State Senate:
State House:
Redistricting in other states
AlabamaAlaskaArizonaArkansasCaliforniaColoradoConnecticutDelawareFloridaGeorgiaHawaiiIdahoIllinoisIndianaIowaKansasKentuckyLouisianaMaineMarylandMassachusettsMichiganMinnesotaMississippiMissouriMontanaNebraskaNevadaNew HampshireNew JerseyNew MexicoNew YorkNorth CarolinaNorth DakotaOhioOklahomaOregonPennsylvaniaRhode IslandSouth CarolinaSouth DakotaTennesseeTexasUtahVermontVirginiaWashingtonWest VirginiaWisconsinWyoming

Horizontal-Policypedia logo-color.png
Redistricting on PolicypediaState legislative and congressional redistricting after the 2010 CensusState-by-state redistricting procedures


Redistricting in Ohio is carried out by the Ohio General Assembly and the Ohio Apportionment Board. The board is responsible for drawing the state's 99 State House and 33 State Senate districts. Congressional boundaries are redrawn by the General Assembly. Ohio is one of 13 states to use a hybrid approach to redistricting.



The Ohio Apportionment Board is responsible for legislative redistricting. It is composed of the following five members:

Unlike some state redistricting commissions, Ohio's is not bi-partisan. In 2011, four of the committee's five members were Republicans. The board held its first official meeting on August 5, 2011.[1]


For Congressional redistricting, both houses of the General Assembly are responsible for re-drawing the lines. There are no deadlines for congressional redistricting in Ohio.[2] Ohio's census data must be reorganized to give census counts for each of Ohio's almost 10,000 precincts. Cleveland State University's Levin College of Urban Affairs is responsible for processing the data. CSU released the data on July 14, allowing legislators and commission members to begin redrawing Ohio's political boundaries.[3][4]


Redistricting taskforce

The Ohio Legislative Task Force on Redistricting, Reapportionment, and Demographic Research held its first meeting on June 16, 2011. The group assisted the General Assembly and Ohio Apportionment Board in drafting new maps. In addition to providing research support, the task force oversees funding for the Ohio redistricting process. House Speaker William Batchelder (R) and Senate Minority Leader Capri Cafaro (D) co-chaired the task force. Ohio Revised Code, Title 1, Chapter 103.51 provides authority for the redistricting task force.[5]

Legislative Redistricting

2011 Apportionment Board

The members of the 2011 Ohio Apportionment Board were as follows:

Congressional redistricting

State House Redistricting Subcommittee

House Republicans appointed three members to the redistricting subcommittee. House Speaker William Batchelder appointed the committee's members on January 12, 2011.[6] The committee began meeting in April 2011.[7]

The three Republicans members joined two Democrats:

Senate Select Committee on Redistricting

The members of the Senate Select Committee on Redistricting were as follows:[8][9]

Public Hearings

  • The General Assembly's redistricting committees held five hearings around the state on Congressional redistricting. The complete schedule can be found here. The hearings began on July 20, 2011.
  • The Ohio Apportionment Board also held several meetings around the state on legislative redistricting. The complete schedule can be found here. The hearings began on August 22, 2011.

Census results

Ohio was one of the biggest losers in the apportionment of Congressional seats during the 2010 Census. The Buckeye State lost 2 congressional seats leaving 16 congressional districts instead of the 18 Ohio held after the 2000 Census.[6] Population shifts in the state were likely to favor congressional Republicans as residents moved away from Democrat-heavy urban districts.[10]

Representative Dennis Kucinich comments on redistricting.

Local census data received

Ohio received its 2010 local census data. This data guided lawmakers as they drew new legislative districts.[11] Although the state population showed net growth, Ohio's large cities recorded significant population loss. Of the state's five largest cities -- Columbus, Cleveland, Cincinnati, Toledo and Akron -- only Columbus showed population growth (10.6% since 2000). Of the five, Cleveland suffered the sharpest decline, losing 17.1% of its population.[12] Even suburbs suffered, but more distant neighborhoods showed modest growth.[13]

Congressional redistricting


Longtime Congressman Dennis Kucinich faced the end of his congressional career under the cloud of redrawn districts. It was speculated that if Kucinich's seat was eliminated, he would have been forced to either retire or run against fellow Democrat Congresswomen Betty Sutton or Marcia Fudge. The Rose Institute, a state policy think tank, confirmed that Kucinich's 10th District seat was a likely target for elimination, being the second least populous district in the state. This led Kucinich to reach out to fellow liberal activists across the nation to influence the Ohio General Assembly to keep his seat.[6][14]

Another strategy was to displace Betty Sutton from her District 13 congressional seat. The Washington Examiner cited her district as snake-shaped and one that could be "unpacked." The Examiner's analysis pointed out that it would very hard for Republicans to displace Kucinich.[15] The Washington Post blog, "The Fix," placed Sutton on its list of the 10 most vulnerable members of Congress -- Kucinich did not make the list. The blog argued that Sutton's district could be easily divided among her Democratic neighbors, none of which she would fair well against in a primary.[16] RedState also played out another scenario in which both Kucinich and Sutton were displaced and Marcia Fudge represented the area Kucinich represents currently.[17]

In either case, Fudge's heavily African American 11th District seemed safe due to provisions of the Voting Rights Act.[18] A new proposal suggested that Fudge's district would be extended into a "barbell" shape to encompass minority communities in Akron. The unorthodox district might have been required to preserve minority representation in the Congressional delegation.[19]

Ultimately, it may have proven difficult for Ohio Republicans to eliminate two Democratic districts via redistricting. Since the GOP controlled most of Ohio congressional seats (13-5), the smaller number of Democratic districts provided less leeway for gerrymandering. While Kucinich was a likely Democratic target, freshmen Representatives Bill Johnson and Bob Gibbs may also have been possible casualties for the GOP.[20][21]

Ultimately, Kunicich's seat was eliminated, leading him to challenge incumbent Marcy Kaptur in the District 9 primary in 2012. Kaptur won that contest.

Top 10 Ranking

According to a report in the Washington Post, Ohio was one of the top 10 states to watch in the redistricting process. The reporters ranked Ohio number 7 on the list. Florida was given the distinction as the number 1 state to watch.[22]

GOP leaders dispute speculation on Johnson

Figure 1: This map shows Ohio congressional districts after the 2000 Census

Aaron Blake, a blogger for The Washington Post suggested that the Congressman Bill Johnson's tenure had the possibility of being short-lived.[23] Blake suggested that the 6th Congressional District could be a victim of redistricting in 2011. Local party leaders disputed the analysis. Mark Munro, Chairman of the Mahoning County Republican Party, told WYTV-TV: "For anyone to suggest that Bill Johnson's seat is being targeted for elimination as a result of re-apportionment is just ridiculous."[23]

Columbiana County GOP Chairman Dave Johnson told WYTV: "We won a seat and I think Bill Johnson can hold this seat." The two party leaders thought it was too early to tell how the districts would be re-drawn.[23]

The seat was ultimately maintained, and Johnson ran for re-election in 2012.

Kucinich eyes Washington State

Reports suggested that Congressman Dennis Kucinich was eyeing the new District 10 seat in the state of Washington. Washington gained a single U.S. House seat as a result of the 2010 census, leaving a district open for a non-incumbent. Kucinich frequented the state around the time of redistricting, raising suspicions that he would run for the seat.[24][25][26]

Kucinich instead opted to run in Ohio's 9th District in 2012. Had he won in Washington, he would have been the first Congressman in the nation's history to move to another state and win back-to-back elections.[27]

Jordan risks redistricting retribution for debt vote

U.S. Rep. Jim Jordan was another potential target of redistricting following his opposition to the recently passed debt ceiling plan. Speaker of the House John Boehner, also an Ohio Congressman, backed the bill as a compromise between the House, Senate, and President over the federal debt ceiling. In addition to his personal vote against the plan, it was discovered that a staffer for the Republican Study Committee (headed by Jordan) had emailed conservative groups to rally opposition to the bill. Jordan since apologized for the staffer's actions, but his opposition to plan threatened to cost him his Congressional seat. Ohio needed to shed two U.S. House districts. Although Republican lawmakers controlled the process, it was hard to eliminate two Democratic districts for demographic reasons.[28]

At a redistricting meeting in Lima, Ohio, residents backed Jordan and criticized efforts to eliminate his district. One lawmaker present at the meeting described it as a "love-fest" for the embattled Congressman. Legislative redistricting committee chairs, Rep. Matt Huffman (R) and Sen. Keith Faber, attempted to downplay the rumor. Faber argued that targeting Jordan may not even be geographically possible.[29]

Ultimately, Jordan's district was left intact, and he ran for re-election in 2012.

Veto referendum may complicate redistricting

Petitioners collected signatures for a veto referendum on a recent election overhaul bill. Among many other provisions, the law would have moved the 2012 primary date from March to May allowing more time for Congressional redistricting. However, if petitioners succeeded in collecting the required number of signatures, the bill would have been put on hold until 2012 when voters would be asked to weigh in on the law. That means the primary change would not have gone into effect and lawmakers would find themselves on a significantly shorter redistricting timeline. If the veto referendum collected enough signatures, legislators would have had to quickly pass another bill changing the primary date.[30]

Districts 3 & 7 possible targets

According to statements from Senate President Tom Niehaus (R), state lawmakers were eyeing Districts 3 and 7 as they looked for a second district to eliminate under redistricting. Although the Cleveland area was likely to lose a Congressional district (and did), it was less clear where lawmakers would eliminate the second district required by the 2010 Census. It was possible that redistricting would ultimately pit US Representatives Steve Austria (R-7) and Mike Turner (R-3) against each other in a primary battle.[31]

Indeed, Austria's district was eliminated, and he declined to run again.

Republicans release redistricting proposal

On September 13, 2011, Ohio's Republican majority released its plan for the state's congressional districts. The plan eliminated two districts in the Clevland area and one in southwest Ohio. The map also created a new district centered on Columbus. In Cleveland, the plan eliminated Betty Sutton's district, shifting her home into Jim Renacci's (R) Republican-leaning district. The plan also combined the districts of Dennis Kucinich (D) and Marcy Kaptur (D). In southwest Ohio, Mike Turner (R) and Steve Austria (R) would have also been paired in a single district.[32] A vote on the plan was expected as early as September 15, 2011.[33]

Overall, the map was expected to significantly strengthen Republican incumbents and solidify potential swing districts in favor of the GOP.[34] Of the state's 16 congressional districts, 12 would lean Republican under the new plan.[35] However, if lawmakers decided against moving back the primary from March to May, redistricting legislation would need to be passed as an emergency bill. This would require a 2/3 majority vote and, thus, bipartisan support for the plan.[36]

Meanwhile, Ohio Campaign for Accountable Redistricting revealed the winners of its congressional redistricting competition. The winner was Mike Fortner, an Illinois state legislator interested in the redistricting process. Both maps can be seen side-by-side below:[37]

 Ohio Congressional Redistricting Proposals 

House approves redistricting plan

On Thursday, September 15, 2011, the Ohio House of Representatives approved a redistricting plan for the state's congressional districts. Drawn by the state's Republican majority, the plan incited charges of gerrymandering from Democrats. Republicans noted that although Democrats were allotted state funds to produce a competing map, no map was offered. Democrats responded that they favored a non-political solution for redistricting. Democrats were reportedly considering a lawsuit or even a veto referendum to block the legislation. The move had worked before - in 1915, Democrats succeeded in overturning a Republican redistricting plan at the ballot box.[38]

The Ohio House approved the plan by a 56-36 margin.[38]

Senate approves redistricting plan

On Wednesday, September 22, 2011, the Ohio State Senate approved the new congressional redistricting plan by a 24 - 7 vote. The Senate amended the house-approved bill by adding $2.75 million in funds for local Boards of Elections. The funds were officially intended to help local governments implement the new maps. However, by adding the appropriation to the redistricting bill, the entire law may be immune from a veto referendum. Ordinarily, appropriations bills are not subject to referendum in Ohio. However, legal experts argued that the Ohio Supreme Court would likely hold that merely adding an appropriation to the bill does not exempt it from the proposed referendum.(See "Legal issues" below) The House of Representatives concurred with the amendment the same day.[39][40][41]

Two African American senators crossed party lines to vote for the bill. Several African-American representatives also supported the bill. The bill drew their support by preserving the minority-majority district in Cleveland and creating a new, minority-heavy district in Columbus. However, the Dayton NAACP sharply criticized the new map for splitting the city's black population among two heavily-Republican districts -- a move the NAACP says would dilute minority voting power. The group promised to challenge the plan in court.[42][43]

Toledo-area officials were also vocal in their opposition to the plan. Toledo Deputy Mayor Tom Crothers argued that the plan would make Toledo irrelevant by splitting its voters into three congressional districts. The Toledo City Council unanimously condemned the plan. However, area Republican Sen. Mark Wagoner argued that giving Toledo three representatives would increase the city's voice in congress. In fact, Dayton area residents expressed opposite concerns about the Wright-Patterson Air Force Base. Under the new plan, it is only included in two (rather than three) congressional districts.[39][44]

Regional concerns aside, critics also attacked the overall partisan bent of the new plans. The Ohio Democratic Party was reportedly considering a legal challenge to the plan. However, Republican legislators defended the map. Sen. Keith Faber called the plan both "fair and balanced." Governor Kasich's spokesman announced that the Governor intended to sign the bill. His signature was expected within days.[45]

Governor signs plan

On Monday, September 26, 2011, Ohio Governor John Kasich (R) signed the state's congressional redistricting plan (shown above). The press release on the signing can be found here. An interactive version of the map can be found here.

Congressional compromise stalls

On November 7, 2011, a push for revised maps was shot down by Ohio Democrats. With the Republican-drawn congressional maps facing a referendum and the state facing the possibility of a 2012 election without maps, lawmakers scrambled to reach a compromise on maps before the December 7, 2011 candidate filing deadline. Due to the short timeline, any bill would have to be passed as an emergency measure and would thus require a supermajority vote. Despite overtures toward a compromise plan, Republicans were unsuccessful in gaining Democratic support.[46][47]

Status of compromise unclear

Ohio House Minority Leader Armond Budish (D) and Representative Matt Huffman (R) were at odds over the existence of a compromise congressional redistricting plan. Budish said he believed both parties "have an agreement." Huffman, a GOP redistricting negotiator, contradicted Budish, saying that they "never reached an agreement." However, a spokesman for House Speaker William Batchelder (R) stated that he was hopeful a compromise would be reached very soon. December 7, 2011 was the filing deadline for the March primary. To avert a referendum and dual primaries, a new map had to be approved by that date. Democrats had until Christmas Day 2011 to collect signatures for the redistricting referendum.[48]

Compromise map approved

On December 14, 2011, Ohio legislators reached a compromise on the state's controversial congressional redistricting plan. The compromise, first proposed by Republicans last month, gained traction after concerns grew about the viability of the referendum effort against the earlier map. In addition, the compromise eliminated a second primary for congressional candidates, saving the state about $15 million.[49]

Legislators geared the compromise bill toward black Democrats by including the re-unification of several urban areas. In order to take effect before revised candidate filing deadlines, the bill had to be passed as an emergency measure by a supermajority vote. This not only allowed the bill to take effect immediately, but shielded the map from a veto referendum.[49]

Despite tepid praise for the revision of urban areas, House Minority Leader Armond Budish (D) acknowledged that changes would not increase the number of districts that favor Democrats--12 of the 16 seats would still lean Republican. The revisions did seem to favor U.S. Rep. Marcia Kaptur (D) in a primary battle with Dennis Kucinich (D).[50]

Meanwhile, emails revealed in a public records request suggested that the Ohio congressional map was drawn to protect Republican incumbents. The emails show that top aides to the National Republican Congressional Committee and House Speaker John Boehner (R) shaped the map-making process. For example, an Ohio manufacturer and donor to Rep. Jim Renacci (R) was moved to Renacci's new district at the request of Boehner's aide. The emails also reveal that map-drawing was moved to a rented hotel room for three months to give the process greater privacy. The emails were obtained by the Ohio Campaign for Accountable Redistricting.[51] The campaign's full report on the messages can be found here.

The impact of the new maps was pronounced. U.S. Rep. Steve Austria (R) dropped his bid for re-election after being drawn into the same district as Rep Mike Turner (R). Democrats Marcy Kaptur and Dennis Kucinich, also drawn together, stuck by their re-election bids; Kaptur won in the primary. Meanwhile incumbents Betty Sutton (D) and Jim Renacci (R) are heading for a general showdown for the 16th District seat.[52]

 Ohio Congressional Redistricting Map 

Legislative redistricting

Maps to follow meetings

At its first meeting on August 4, 2011 the Ohio Apportionment Board decided not to approve tentative maps prior to the last public meeting. The committee's next voting session fell after the public hearings and just four days prior to the final plan deadline. The proposal to gather input after drafts had been adopted was introduced by Armond Budish (D). Budish argued that the decision would "work to the disadvantage of Ohio voters." A spokesperson for Gov. John Kasich (D), the Board's chair, contended that it's "infinitely more valuable to have the public engaged at the start of the process than at the 11th hour when the ink is already dry."[53][54]

Meeting see sparse attendance

So far, the Ohio Apportionment Board's public hearings have heard from only a handful of Ohio citizens. Although the public is free to speak at the hearings, few took the opportunity. A meeting in Marietta drew about 18 residents with only three speaking. At a meeting in Canton, no members of the public offered testimony. Only one meeting, at which four residents spoke, had heard from more than three residents. Critics of the Board's timeline argued that more meetings should be held after draft maps are published so citizens have something to comment on.[55]

Board adopts final plan

On September 28, 2011, the Ohio Apportionment Board gave final approval to the state's legislative redistricting plan after releasing draft maps online just two days earlier. The final plan is expected to solidify the state's Republican majority. The board passed the plan by a 4-1 vote. The board's only Democrat, Armond Budish, opposed the new maps. Budish said the map effectively "quarantines" state Democrats in 1/3 of the Ohio's legislative districts.[56] Analysis by the Dayton Daily News suggested that only 20 of the 99 house districts were competitive and only 7 of the state's 33 senate districts were competitive. The analysis also suggested that 51 of the house districts and 17 of the senate districts favored the GOP by five points or more. House Speaker William Batchelder defended the maps, arguing that they were a fair revision of the previous plan. He also noted that the board doubled the number of districts where African Americans are the majority.[57]

  • The full plans can be found here.
  • For those unable to read these file formats, the earlier pdf draft maps can be found here (house) and here (senate).
  • All map submissions to the board can be found here.

Legal issues

Democrats sue to allow veto referendum

Before passing the state's congressional redistricting plan, the Republican-led Ohio General Assembly added a $2.75 million appropriation to help local Boards of Elections implement the plan. Defenders of the move said the bill should count as an appropriations bill and should be exempted from a veto referendum per the Ohio Constitution. In response, Democrats filed suit on September 28, 2011 in the Ohio Supreme Court to affirm their right to challenge the map. An earlier ruling in 2009 upheld the right of citizens to challenge a racetrack slots provision in a state budget bill. The Ohio House GOP called the suit "baseless," arguing that the appropriation was pertinent to the bill.[58] House Speaker William Batchelder (R) says that the court should act by October 9, 2011 in order to give counties time to prepare for the election.[59]

State rejects referendum petition

On October 12, 2011 the Ohio Secretary of State rejected preliminary signatures for a referendum against Ohio's congressional redistricting plan. Although proponents had more than enough signatures to qualify for statewide circulation, the preliminary petition was rejected because of an appropriation within the redistricting bill. Democratic officials expected the decision and argued that the move would give their pending legal challenge further merit.[60]

  • The Secretary of State's press release can be found here.

State Supreme Court OKs referendum

On October 14, 2011, the Ohio Supreme Court issued a unanimous decision allowing the referendum against Ohio's congressional redistricting maps to proceed. Despite the GOP's 6-1 advantage on the court, defenders of the Republican-drawn congressional map could not sway the justices. The Ohio Constitution prohibits referendums against "appropriations for the current expenses of the state government." However, the court found that the redistricting legislation's $2.75 million appropriation, designated for local election officials to implement the new map, does not fund current expenses and, thus, does not exempt the bill from referendum. If the referendum gathers enough signatures, the new redistricting plan will be suspended until voters weigh in. This would create significant confusion as courts and lawmakers struggle to choose a new plan as the elections approach.

Lawmakers could have passed another plan, this time as an emergency measure. This would have exempted the new plan from referendum but required a two-thirds supermajority. Ohio Republicans are reportedly reaching out to African-American Democrats to achieve this majority. Some members of the Ohio Legislative Black Caucus crossed over to support the maps originally, but still more would be needed to reach a supermajority. Meanwhile, the Ohio Democratic Party is using the threat of a referendum to pressure the GOP to make concessions in exchange for Democratic support of a redrawn map.[61][62][63]

Ohio lawmakers were expected to delay the presidential and congressional primaries in order to allow time for resolving congressional redistricting.[64]

  • The court's opinion in State ex rel Ohioans for Fair Districts v Husted can be found here.

Lawsuit seeks to force court-drawn maps

A lawsuit filed in October 2011 got a hearing later in November 2011. The lawsuit, filed by a Batavia, Ohio resident, argued that without a congressional redistricting map, 2012 elections would be unconstitutional. Moreover, the lawsuit argued that the local judge, Jerry R. McBride, should draft new plans and retain jurisdiction over future redistricting efforts. Opponents saw the case as an effort to "shop" for a sympathetic court and tilt any judicial redistricting efforts toward the GOP. Joseph Braun, attorney for the plaintiff, rejected this charge. Legislative leaders William Batchelder (R) and Tom Niehaus (R) have already filed documents conceding the central claims of the lawsuit.[65]

Kasich seeks dismissal from lawsuit

On Monday, Ohio Governor John Kasich (R) asked to be dismissed from the lawsuit. Kasich argued that, as an executive, he played no role in drawing the new congressional maps.[66]

LaTourette, Democrats weigh in on lawsuit

Congressman Steve LaTourette (R) asked an Ohio court to impose the embattled US House redistricting plan for 2012. LaTourette intervened in a suit filed by a Batavia resident which contended that the lack of a congressional redistricting plan was unconstitutional. Democrats asked that the case be dismissed, calling it premature. Dan Tokaji, a redistricting expert at the Moritz College of Law (OSU), argued that imposing the new maps would undermine the right to challenge the plan via veto referendum. Signatures for that referendum had to be filed by Christmas 2011.[67]

Democrats challenge legislative maps

On Wednesday, January 4, 2012, Ohio Democrats filed suit against Ohio's state legislative redistricting maps. They argued that the map violated state constitutional requirements for compactness and the preservation of county and municipal boundaries. The new map split 51 counties and 55 cities -- a sign of political gerrymandering according to Democrats. They also charged that the committee violated open meetings laws by holding secret meetings in a hotel room. Republicans noted that renting the hotel room was approved by both Republican and Democratic leaders. They also contended that Democrats were attempting to disrupt 2012 elections by challenging the new maps.[68]

  • The petition in the case can be found here.

Case delayed, maps stand for 2012

The Ohio Supreme Court decided to hear the Democratic lawsuits over the new legislative redistricting maps. However, due to the party's delay in filing the challenge, the court ruled that the new maps would stand for the 2012 election and revisions to the maps would apply starting in 2014.[69]

Reform legislation

Husted calls for reform

Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted (R)--a member of the Ohio Apportionment Board--called for revisions to the state's redistricting process. He urged the newly formed Ohio Constitutional Modernization Commission to take up the issue. Husted acknowledged that no system is perfect, but said reforms could help restore voter confidence.[70]

Ohio First redistricting amendment

See also: Ohio Redistricting Amendment (2012)

The Ohio "Voters First" coalition submitted initial signatures for a state constitutional amendment creating a nonpartisan citizens redistricting commission. The 12-member commission would be drawn from around the state, while excluding donors, politicians, and lobbyists. The group had to collect 386,000 signatures to place the measure on the ballot.[71][72]

While its initial effort fell short, on August 6, 2012, Secretary of State Jon Husted (R) announced over 406,000 valid signatures had been certified, meeting the necessary requirement to put the amendment on the ballot.[73]

Citizen activism

Draw the Line Midwest

On March 15, 2011, the Draw the Line Midwest campaign was announced. Billing itself as "the nation's first regional redistricting reform campaign organization," Draw the Line Midwest was made up of 25 reform organizations from Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio, and Wisconsin. It was a collaboration between the Midwest Democracy Network and the Brennan Center for Justice at New York University Law School.

The groups said the campaign was a coordinated effort to depoliticize the redistricting process by pushing for transparency, public participation, and protection of minority rights. They proposed alternatives to legislative plans and setting up District Builder, free open-based software that will allow anyone to draw the maps. The site was expected to be up in all states by April 2011.[74]

Redistricting competition

The League of Women Voters, Ohio Citizen Action, and Draw the Line Ohio sponsered a public competition to redraw Ohio's congressional and legislative boundaries. The competition awarded $5000 in cash prizes, and entries were judged on their ability to preserve county boundaries, create compact districts, ensure representational fairness, and promote political competitiveness. The winning plans would also be submitted to the state for consideration.

Legislative winners announced

On August 24, 2011, the Ohio Campaign for Accountable Redistricting announced the winners of its legislative redistricting competition. First place went to Mike Fortner, a state representative from Illinois. Second place went to Tim Clarke, an attorney from Avon Lake. The winning maps were submitted to the Ohio Apportionment Board. The group's Congressional redistricting competition was still ongoing.[75][76]

  • The winning maps can be found here.

Public input

The Ohio Apportionment Board accepted public submissions on state legislative maps. To further this end, the state also offered free online redistricting software. Information on the software and requirements/deadlines for submission can be found on the state's redistricting website.

Deadline passes

September 9, 2011 was the deadline for public submissions to the Ohio House Redistricting Committee. The committee was responsible for redrawing the state’s congressional districts. While the deadline was not entirely firm, the lawmakers on the committee set the date to allow time for discussion of submitted plans.


The redistricting timeline for Ohio is as follows:

Ohio 2010 Redistricting Timeline
Date Action
December 21, 2010 State informed of number of Congressional Seats on the 2010 Census.
February 8, 2011 Special election held in current legislative districts.
March 1, 2011[6]. Expected date to receive complete Census data from the U.S. Census Bureau.
April 1, 2011[77] Final deadline to receive Census data.
May 3, 2011[6]. Last municipal and city primary elections in currently drawn boundaries.
August 1, 2011 First Day Ohio Apportionment Board meets
October 1, 2011 Last day Ohio Apportionment Board meets
October 5, 2011[78]. Deadline for the Ohio Apportionment Board to have a legislative redistricting plan in place.
November 8, 2011[6]. Last municipal and city general elections in currently drawn boundaries.
March 6, 2012 First primary elections in newly created districts.
November 2012 First general election in newly created legislative and congressional boundaries.


2012 primary date

Although Ohio's primary date ordinarily shifts to March during presidential election years, redistricting prompted legislators to change this process for 2012. House Bill 194, passed by the Ohio General Assembly on June 29, 2011, eliminated this shift and kept the Ohio primary date in May of 2012. A March primary would place candidate filing deadlines in December of 2011. Lawmakers believed that a December filing deadline would not allow enough time for the state to complete redistricting and address subsequent legal challenges. On the other hand, a May primary date would have likely decreased Ohio's relevance in the presidential nomination process.[79]

With referendum threat, new law proposed

With a potential referendum against the state's congressional redistricting plan, Ohio lawmakers pushed the presidential and congressional primary back to June of 2012, leaving primaries for the State House and US Senate in March 2012. However, state Republicans were hoping to consolidate the primaries in May of 2012. The consolidation plan was included in an election overhaul bill, but a separate referendum would likely put that bill on hold. For the bill to take effect in time, lawmakers required emergency approval by a supermajority vote.[80]

Primary date settled with compromise

With the compromise congressional map approved on December 14, 2011, Ohio lawmakers also settled on a date for the state's primaries--March 6, 2012. Lawmakers had worried that a congressional plan would not be in place in time for the March primary and had considered delaying the congressional primary while retaining the March 6, 2012 presidential primary. However, this approach would have come at the considerable expense of holding a second primary election.[81]

Ballot measures

The following measures have appeared on the Ohio ballot pertaining to redistricting.


Deviation from "Ideal Districts"

2000 Population Deviation[82]
Office Percentage
Congressional Districts 0.00%
State House Districts 12.46%
State Senate Districts 8.81%
Under federal law, districts may vary from an 'Ideal District' by up to 10%, though the lowest number achievable is preferred. 'Ideal Districts' are computed through simple division of the number of seats for any office into the population at the time of the Census.

Constitutional explanation

Article XI of the Ohio Constitution, entitled Apportionment, consists of 15 sections which detail the redistricting process. Section 1 provides authority for the creation of an Apportionment Board.

See also

External links


  1. Cleveland, "Redistricting gets rolling in Ohio with Republicans holding the pen," August 06, 2011
  2. Columbus Dispatch, "Slow redistricting could delay Ohio's presidential primary," January 4, 2011
  3. [Toledo Blade, "Both parties await redistricting in Ohio based on latest Census data," June 6, 2011
  4. WKYC, "Ohio: Congressional redistricting underway," July 14, 2011
  5. Columbus Dispatch, "Protecting turf is GOP aim in congressional redistricting," June 17, 2011
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 6.3 6.4 6.5 6.6 Massillion Independent, "GOP names 3 to redistricting committee," January 12, 2011
  7. "Ohio House beginning redistricting process," April 16, 2011
  8. Weapons of Mass Discussion, "Niehaus Names Members to Senate Select Committee on Redistricting," July 14, 2011
  9., "Oelslager named to redistricting panel," July 18, 2011
  10. The Oxford Press, "Ohio population shift favors GOP in Congress," April 18, 2010
  11. US Census Bureau Press Release, "U.S. Census Bureau Delivers Ohio's 2010 Census Population Totals, Including First Look at Race and Hispanic Origin Data for Legislative Redistricting," March 9, 2011
  12., "4 of 5 big Ohio cities, counties lose people, Whites still dominate, Census says," March 10, 2011
  13. USA Today, "Population drastically declines in Ohio cities," March 10, 2011
  14. The Rose Institute, "Ohio Redistricting: The Complete Series," October 25, 2011
  15. Washington Examiner, "Dennis Kucinich and redistricting: Two hypothetical maps," January 12, 2011
  16. The Washington Post, "The most likely redistricting victims," April 15, 2011
  17. RedState, "Redistricting Ohio (with maps) 12-4," December 31, 2010
  18. Cleveland Plain Dealer, "An outbreak of Statehouse racial harmony: Thomas Suddes (Op-ed)" February 20, 2011
  19., "Going far afield to make a minority district," March 5, 2011
  20. The Hill, "Ohio redistricting battle impacts Senate race calculus," February 8, 2011
  21. The Youngstown Vindicator, "Is Rep. Johnson a target?," April 29, 2011
  22. Washington Post, "The top 10 states to watch in redistricting," March 18, 2011
  23. 23.0 23.1 23.2 WYTV-TV "GOP Leaders Dispute Blog On Redistricting" 7 Jan. 2011 (dead link)
  24. The Daily Caller, "Kucinich may seek re-election from Washington State, not Ohio," May 3, 2011
  25. The Daily Caller, "Lax residency requirements may help Kucinich run for Congress in Washington," May 3, 2011
  26. The Plain Dealer, "Rep. Dennis Kucinich fuels speculation that he'll run in Washington state," May 03, 2011
  27. University of Minnesota, Smart Politics Blog, "Dennis Kucinich Re-election Scheme from Washington Would Make U.S. History," May 13, 2011 (dead link)
  28. The Hill, "Jordan in redistricting crosshairs after bucking Boehner," July 28, 2011
  29. Toledo Blade, "Redistricting meeting in turns into 'love fest' for Jordan," August 2, 2011
  30. Cleveland Plain Dealer, "Possible repeal of new elections law puts congressional redistricting in time crunch," August 13, 2011
  31. Dayton Daily News, "Redistricting could pit Turner against Austria in 2012 primary," August 23, 2011
  32. Youngstown Vindicator, "Redistricting plan to be unveiled," September 13, 2011
  33. Dayton Business Journal, "Proposed Ohio congressional redistricting expected for vote," September 14, 2011
  34. The Hill, "Ohio Republicans shore up huge advantage with redistricting map," September 13, 2011
  35. Washington Post, "Ohio GOP looks to cement 2010 gains with overhauled congressional map," September 13, 2011
  36. WKSU, "Ohio Dems think they still have a redistricting bargaining chip," September 14, 2011
  37. Money in Politics, "Press Release: Winning Congressional Maps Released Today," September 13, 2011 (dead link)
  38. 38.0 38.1 Canton Repository, "Ohio House approves redistricting bill," September 15, 2011
  39. 39.0 39.1 Toledo Blade, "Ohio Senate OKs redistricting plan," September 21, 2011
  40. Canton Repository, "Redistricting bill sent to governor," September 21, 2011
  41. Houston Chonicle, "Experts: Ohio political map tactic likely wrong," September 22, 2011
  42., "Dayton NAACP: Redistricting dilutes minority vote," September 19, 2011
  43. Dayton Daily News," September 18, 2011
  44. Dayton Daily News, "New districts prompt fears about Wright-Patt jobs," September 18, 2011
  45. Dayton Daily News, "Kasich to OK new districts," September 21, 2011
  46. Akron Beacon Journal, "Try, try, try again," November 8, 2011
  47. Circleville Herald, "Searching for a compromise to Congressional redistricting," November 7, 2011
  48. Dayton Daily News, "Redistricting deal not finished, GOP says," November 30, 2011
  49. 49.0 49.1, "Ohio lawmakers reach deal on congressional redistricting and single primary election (updated)," December 15, 2011
  50. Dayton Daily News, "New U.S. House districts created; Ohioans to have 1 primary," December 15, 2011
  51. Roll Call, "Emails Reveal Role of Boehner Aide, NRCC in Ohio Redistricting," December 13, 2011
  52., "Ohio Republican drops re-election bid for Congress," December 31, 2011
  53. Dayton Daily News, "Ohio panel: No public review of new political map," August 4, 2011 (dead link)
  54. Cleveland Plain Dealer, "Redistricting gets rolling in Ohio with Republicans holding the pen," August 6, 2011
  55. News and Sentinel, "Residents want voice in redistricting efforts," August 25, 2011
  56. The Columbus Dispatch, "Reapportionment: Maps tilt Ohio more to GOP," September 24, 2011
  57. Dayton Daily News, "New map gives GOP advantage in Columbus," September 28, 2011
  58. The News-Herald, "Ohio Democrats sue over congressional map," September 28, 2011
  59., "Ohio Dems seek high court ruling on Republican redistricting funding rider," October 5, 2011
  60. The Columbus Dispatch, "Husted rejects petition to place new congressional map on ballot," October 13, 2011
  61. The Vindicator, "Dems issue ultimatum on redistricting," October 18, 2011
  62. The Plain Dealer, "Ohio Republicans make overture to black Democrats on congressional remap," October 18, 2011
  63. The Hill, "Ohio redistricting battle heats up," October 20, 2011
  64. The Plain Dealer, "Ohio Republicans plan to delay 2012 primaries for congress, president," October 20, 2012
  65. Real Clear Politics, "Voter's lawsuit could play role Ohio map spat," November 04, 2011
  66. The Crescent-News, "Gov. Kasich Responds to Ohio Redistricting Lawsuit," November 14, 2011 (dead link)
  67. The Republic, "With deadline approaching, parties pressure judge to make choice in Ohio redistricting case," December 1, 2011
  68. Newsmax, "Ohio Democrats Sue Over Redistricting Map," January 6, 2012
  69. Daily Jeffersonian, "No Ohio Redistricting Decision Before Election," February 19, 2012
  70. Columbus Dispatch, "Husted says he's ready to help lawmakers find new map process," January 11, 2012
  71. Dayton Daily New, "OH voter coalition pushes redistricting amendment," March 19, 2012 (dead link)
  72. Dayton Daily News, "Ohio redistricting amendment clears initial hurdle," March 29, 2012 (dead link)
  73. WTRF, "Redistricting plan makes Ohio ballot on 2nd effort," August 6, 2012
  74. PR Newswire, "Midwest States Launch Campaign to Pull Back Curtain on 2011 Redistricting," March 15, 2011
  75. Draw the Line Midwest, "Press Conference: Winning maps released today," August 24, 2011
  76. Toledo Blade, "Remapping Ohio," August 30, 2011
  77. Population Reference Bureau, "2010 Census Deadlines
  78. Tennessee Comptroller of the Treasury, "2010 NCSL Redistricting Law Guide (dead link)
  79. "The Marietta Times," Debate over date of Ohio’s 2012 primary, February 21, 2011
  80. The Republic, "New proposal would reunite Ohio primaries in May after congressional map spat divided dates," December 8, 2011
  81. Columbus Dispatch, "State will have one primary March 6," December 15, 2011
  82. National Conference of State Legislatures, “Redistricting 2000 Population Deviation Table”," accessed February 1, 2011