Public officials crush democracy by drawing legislative district maps to benefit their political party. Fair Districts Ohio organizes citizens to fight this gerrymandering.
Ohio voters passed Issue 1 in 2015 for redistricting reform for Ohio House and Ohio Senate districts. Three quarters of Ohio voters approved congressional redistricting reform in 2018. Both reforms focused on stricter rules for keeping communities together and greater transparency in mapmaking. Legislative district lines will be redrawn in 2021. Fair Districts Ohio is organizing voters to monitor the process closely and encourage the mapmakers to focus on the voters, rather than on partisan interests.
Fair Districts Ohi is a non-partisan group that fights for fairer state legislative and congressional maps. The coalition includes Common Cause Ohio, the League of Women Voters of Ohio, Ohio A. Philip Randolph Institute, the Ohio Council of Churches, and the Ohio Voter Rights Coalition. it is organizing Fair Maps Day on Tuesday, September 21 where people across Ohio come together at the StateHouse to demand FAIR MAPS.
The full day of action is a show of force for official mapmakers. It includes a press conference, march around the statehouse, speeches, and lobby visits. Fair Districts uses technology to organize citizens to demand their elected officials protect democracy and draw fair legislative districts. Their solution lets Ohioans:
- Learn about the event
- See the level of signups from across the state
- Register to take part in Fair Maps Day
- Encourage their friends to participate on social media
This blog describes how Fair Districts created a dynamic map with help from DemLabs. It shows the progress of registrations automatically and updates automatically as more people sign up. Supporters share the map by email and on social media with a link. Partner organizations embed the map in their websites to spread the word with this code:
< iframe width="300" height="200" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" allowfullscreen src="https://arcg.is/9Tazb"></iframe>
The League of Women Voters in Ohio encourages citizens to contact their election officials to take a pledge to end gerrymandering. "It is time to redraw the congressional and state districts - and we need our elected lawmakers to make maps that work for all Ohioans. Fill out your contact information to send a message to your elected officials telling them to take the End Gerrymandering Pledge now!"
'Bald election rigging'
Fair Districts Ohio filed a lawsuit in 2019 arguing that Ohio's 2011 gerrymandered congressional districts were unconstitutional. Members of Fair Districts Ohio had hoped this lawsuit would force map makers to draw fair districts. Unfortunately, the US Supreme Court’s decision in a different case about North Carolina gerrymandering meant that the Supreme Court was going to duck its responsibilities to reign in gerrymandering. The majority of justices said that it is up to the states to stop it. This prevented our lawsuit from moving forward. Now, any future lawsuits will have to be taken through Ohio's state Supreme Court. Read more about the case from the Brennan Center for Justice.
GOVERNMENT OVERVIEW OF REDISTRICTING - Legislative Service Commission Guide for Legislators
Ohio’s Gerrymandering Problem: Why Haven’t We Fixed This Yet?
REDISTRICTING 101 TRAINING: Learn from the experts in 40 minutes
FAIR DISTRICTS SPEAKERS BUREAU: Documents you need
Google Forms - Volunteer registrations for day of action
ArcGIS Online - Mapping app
Action Network - Mailing list
Salsa Labs - Collect Donations
DistrictR - Community mapping
Sign Up Genius - Group organizing