(COLUMBUS, Ohio)—Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine last week rejected the petition for a proposed amendment to the Ohio Constitution which would change Ohio’s congressional redistricting process.
On April 24th, the Ohio Attorney General’s Office received a written petition to amend the Ohio Constitution, entitled the Bipartisan Congressional Redistricting Reform Amendment, from the attorney representing the petitioning committee, Fair Congressional Districts for Ohio. Attorney General DeWine’s letter rejected the summary for several reasons, including
- The summary omits that as a result of the proposed amendment, the Supreme Court of Ohio would have exclusive, original jurisdiction over court challenges to any congressional district plan, pursuant to Article XI, Section 9(A) of the Ohio Constitution.
- The summary omits references in the amendment to Article XI, Section 9(B), regarding invalidation by courts.
“For these reasons, I am unable to certify the summary as a fair and truthful statement of the proposed amendment,” DeWine stated in his letter rejecting the petition. “However, I must caution that this letter is not intended to represent an exhaustive list of all defects in the submitted summary.”
In order for a constitutional amendment to proceed, an initial petition containing summary language of the amendment and 1,000 signatures from Ohio registered voters must be submitted to the Ohio Attorney General. Once the summary language and initial signatures are certified, the Ohio Ballot Board would determine if the amendment contains a single issue or multiple issues. The petitioners must then collect signatures for each issue from registered voters in each of 44 of Ohio’s 88 counties, equal to 5 percent of the total vote cast in the county for the office of governor at the last gubernatorial election. Total signatures collected statewide must also equal 10 percent of the total vote cast for the office of governor at the last gubernatorial election.
The full text of last weeks letter and of the initiative petitions submitted can be found at www.OhioAttorneyGeneral.gov/Petitions.