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Analysis

Support for Ohio’s Issue 1 Ballot Measure in the 2018 Primary Election

The Brennan Center breaks it down

November 7, 2018

In May, Ohio voters over­whelm­ingly approved Issue 1, a consti­tu­tional amend­ment to reform the state’s congres­sional redis­trict­ing process. Issue 1 will require congres­sional district plans drawn after the 2020 census to be passed with bipar­tisan support, enhance trans­par­ency, and encour­age public parti­cip­a­tion in the redis­trict­ing process. As part of our assess­ment of the support for redis­trict­ing reforms across the coun­try, we took a deeper dive into voter support for Issue 1, break­ing down the results for each of the state’s congres­sional districts.  

We found that Issue 1 passed with nearly 75 percent of the statewide vote cast in the May primary elec­tion and over 66 percent approval in every single congres­sional district — Repub­lican and Demo­cratic seats alike. 

In order to estim­ate the approval rate of the ballot meas­ure in each congres­sional district, we sorted each elect­oral precinct into its surround­ing congres­sional district and then tabu­lated yes votes on the Issue for each district. The results, shown in a map and table below, demon­strate wide­spread support for the reform.

In even the least-support­ive congres­sional district, the 6th in the south­east of the state, support for Issue 1 was more than 66 percent. Support for Issue 1 increases in the other districts, and in the 11th and 3rd districts, is about 84 percent. While support for Issue 1 is highest in the 3rd,  9th,  11th,  and 13th districts — seats held by Demo­cratic members of the U.S. House — the ballot meas­ure was strongly suppor­ted in districts held by Repub­lican members of Congress as well. If we tabu­late the votes on Issue 1 by county, as we do in the map below, we can also see that support for the Issue was at least 60 percent in all but two counties and still passed with 56 percent support in the least-approv­ing county. Redis­trict­ing may be a partisan polit­ical exer­cise, but the effort to reform the process is strongly bipar­tisan.

(Image: Shut­ter­stock.com)