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Statewide Ballot Issue 1 On May 8 Primary Election Ballot

2018 Ohio State Ballot Issue 1
Ohio Secretary Of State Jon Husted

Primary Election Day is Tuesday, May 8. This election, voters will consider Issue 1. The statewide ballot issue would change the way Ohio’s congressional districts are decided.

Under the current system, the Ohio General Assembly votes to draw new congressional district lines every 10 years. The process gives the majority political party more sway over new Congressional maps.

Issue 1 would change this and amend the state constitution, establishing a new bipartisan process for congressional redistricting. Issue 1 would also require public hearings before any new map is passed.

Supporters say the measure would make redistricting more fair, and limit the gerrymandering that can lead to many communities being split along partisan lines.

Opponents argue the state’s existing system of drawing congressional districts is already fair. A "no" vote on Issue 1 would leave the state constitution and the redistricting process as is.

Watch a secretary of state-produced video to learn more about Issue 1:

If Issue 1 fails to pass in the May primary, advocates, including the Ohio League of Women Voters, say they’ll try again to place the amendment on the November ballot.

"Voters have waited far too long for state lawmakers to come together to fix gerrymandering and create fairer elections," says Catherine Turcer of advocacy organization Common Cause Ohio. "Voters deserve to participate in meaningful elections, and Democrats and Republicans came together to pass a resolution that will help rein in the worst excesses of partisan gerrymandering."

More information from the secretary of state's office: 
Certified Ballot Language
Certified Explanation
Argument For
Certified Argument Against

Jess Mador comes to WYSO from Knoxville NPR-station WUOT, where she created an interactive multimedia health storytelling project called TruckBeat, one of 15 projects around the country participating in AIR's Localore: #Finding America initiative. Before TruckBeat, Jess was an independent public radio journalist based in Minneapolis. She’s also worked as a staff reporter and producer at Minnesota Public Radio in the Twin Cities, and produced audio, video and web stories for a variety of other news outlets, including NPR News, APM, and PBS television stations. She has a Master's degree from the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism in New York. She loves making documentaries and telling stories at the intersection of journalism, digital and social media.