Democratic Leadership Emphasizes Open, Fair Apportionment Process

Leader Budish proposes rule changes for more transparency 

COLUMBUS- Sen. Democratic Leader Capri Cafaro and Democratic House Leader Armond Budish urged transparency and public input as the Apportionment Board met for the first time. Leader Budish is the only Democratic member of the Apportionment Board, chosen by House and Senate Democratic Leadership.

“I offered 6 amendments designed to prevent partisan gerrymandering, preserve communities of interest and protect our most basic democratic principle, that every person’s vote should count equally. The amendments were also designed to ensure meaningful public input and oversight. So I am disappointed that every one of my amendments were rejected based on partisan politics. Today it became evidently clear, this process is not getting off on the right foot,” Leader Budish said.

Leader Budish proposed 6 rule changes during the Apportionment Board’s planning meeting. He recommended implementing several of the positive changes passed by the Senate during the last general assembly, including requiring an affirmative vote by a minority member to approve a plan. He also proposed requiring the board to rank their plans according to their compliance with the Ohio constitution, federal law, and any objective criteria the Board chooses to use. Budish sought to allow for public input and feedback on actual maps and not just the process of apportionment during the upcoming regional hearings.

“The top priority of the Apportionment Board should be to establish an open process that is fair to all Ohioans, not just one political party. That’s why Democrats in the General Assembly offered proposals to ensure the apportionment process is fair and fully inclusive of the racial, ethnic, political and geographic diversity of our state. The drawing of Ohio’s legislative districts should respect the democratic process so voters can choose their elected representatives, not the other way around,” said Sen. Minority Leader Cafaro. 

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