130th Ohio General Assembly
The online versions of legislation provided on this website are not official. Enrolled bills are the final version passed by the Ohio General Assembly and presented to the Governor for signature. The official version of acts signed by the Governor are available from the Secretary of State's Office in the Continental Plaza, 180 East Broad St., Columbus.

Am. H. J. R. No. 15  As Adopted by the House
As Adopted by the House

128th General Assembly
Regular Session
2009-2010
Am. H. J. R. No. 15


Representatives Letson, Garrison 

Cosponsors: Representatives Belcher, Bolon, Boyd, Carney, Celeste, Chandler, DeBose, Dodd, Domenick, Dyer, Fende, Foley, Garland, Garrison, Gerberry, Goyal, Hagan, Harris, Harwood, Koziura, Luckie, Mallory, Moran, Murray, Newcomb, Patten, Phillips, Pillich, Pryor, Stewart, Sykes, Szollosi, Walter, Williams, B. 



A JOINT RESOLUTION
Proposing to amend Sections 1, 2, 6, 12, 13, and 15 of Article XI, to amend, for the purpose of adopting new section numbers as indicated in parentheses, Sections 6 (3), 12 (6), 13 (7), and 15 (9) of Article XI, to enact new Sections 4, 5, and 8 of Article XI, and to repeal Sections 3, 4, 5, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, and 14 of Article XI of the Constitution of the State of Ohio to revise the process for apportioning the state for General Assembly districts.

       Be it resolved by the General Assembly of the State of Ohio, three-fifths of the members elected to each house concurring herein, that there shall be submitted to the electors of the state, in the manner prescribed by law at the general election to be held on November 2, 2010, a proposal to amend Sections 1, 2, 6, 12, 13, and 15 of Article XI, to amend, for the purpose of adopting new section numbers as indicated in parentheses, Sections 6 (3), 12 (6), 13 (7), and 15 (9) of Article XI, and to enact new Sections 4, 5, and 8 of Article XI of the Constitution of the State of Ohio to read as follows:

1.  (A) The governor, auditor of state, secretary of state, one person chosen by the speaker of the house of representatives and the leader in the senate of the political party of which the speaker is a member, and one person chosen by the legislative leaders in the two houses of the major political party of which the speaker is not a member shall be the persons responsible for the apportionment of this state for members of the general assembly and shall collectively be referred to as the apportionment board. The apportionment board shall decide all matters coming before it by a majority vote of its members present at any meeting. Members of the board may be represented by their respective designees at any meeting of the board.

       Such persons(B) The apportionment board, or a majority of their numberits members, shall meet and establish in the manner prescribed in this Articlearticle an apportionment of the state that defines the boundaries for each of ninety-nine house of representatives districts and thirty-three senate districts by the first day of October of the year in which the board convenes. Such meeting shall convene on a date designated by the governor between August 1 and October 1 in the year one thousand nine hundred seventy-one and every tenth year thereafter. The

       (C) All meetings of the apportionment board shall be open to the public. The apportionment board shall be convened by the governor, who shall preside at its meetings, not later than the third Tuesday in January in each year ending in the numeral one. The governor shall give such persons two weeksone week's advance public notice of the date, time, and place of sucheach apportionment board meeting. The board may adopt procedural rules for its operation.

       The(D) Upon its establishment, the governor shall cause the apportionment to be published no later than October 5 of the year in which it is made, in such manner as provided by law. Upon the publication of the apportionment, the apportionment board shall adjourn until the next year ending in the numeral one or until convened under Section 7 of this article.

       Section 2.  (A) The apportionment of this state for members of the general assembly shall be made in the following manner: The

       (1) The whole population of the state, as determined by the federal decennial census or, if such is unavailable, such other basis as the general assembly may direct, shall be divided by the number "ninety-nine" and the quotient shall be the ratio of representation in the house of representatives for ten years next succeeding such apportionment. The

       (2) The whole population of the state as determined by the federal decennial census or, if such is unavailable, such other basis as the general assembly may direct, shall be divided by the number "thirty-three" and the quotient shall be the ratio of representation in the senate for ten years next succeeding such apportionment.

       (B) The population of each house of representatives district shall be substantially equal to the ratio of representation in the house of representatives, as provided in division (A) of this section, and in no event shall any house of representatives district contain a population of less than ninety-five per cent nor more than one hundred five per cent of the ratio of representation in the house of representatives.

       (C) The population of each senate district shall be substantially equal to the ratio of representation in the senate, as provided in division (A) of this section, and in no event shall any senate district contain a population of less than ninety-five per cent nor more than one hundred five per cent of the ratio of representation in the senate.

       (D) Each house of representatives district shall be entitled to a single representative in each general assembly. Each senate district shall be entitled to a single senator in each general assembly.

       Section 6 3.  (A) District boundaries established pursuant to this Articlearticle shall not be changed until the ensuing federal decennial census and the ensuing apportionment or as provided in section 137 of this Articlearticle, notwithstanding the fact that boundaries of political subdivisions or city wards within the district may be changed during that time. District boundaries shall be created by using the boundaries of political subdivisions and city wards as they exist at the time of the federal decennial census on which the apportionment is based, or if unavailable, on such other basis as the general assembly has directed.

       (B) Each house of representatives district shall be composed of contiguous territory, and the boundary of each district shall be a single nonintersecting continuous line.

        (C) Each senate district shall be composed of three contiguous house of representatives districts.

       (D) Any island shall be part of the district which is geographically closest to the island.

4.  (A) The secretary of state, by the first day of April in a year ending in the numeral one, shall do all of the following:

       (1) Gather and make available to the public, in a form that facilitates data analysis and the drawing of legislative districts:

       (a) Thorough and accurate census data; and

       (b) Information detailing the boundaries of political subdivisions and election precincts.

       (2) Establish and make public the statewide partisan index, which shall be calculated as follows:

       (a) Using the results of all nonjudicial Ohio statewide state or federal elections in the ten years immediately preceding the year of an apportionment, the secretary of state shall determine the three elections that had the smallest percentage margin between the highest and second highest nominees of a political party. If in any of the three elections the percentages of the two highest nominees of political parties do not equal one hundred per cent, the remaining percentage for that election shall be attributed to the parties of the two highest nominees in the ratio of the percentages received by those nominees.

       (b) The secretary of state then shall add together the percentage of the vote received by the candidates with the same political party affiliation for each of the three elections described in division (A)(2)(a) of this section and divide each of those totals by three to establish the statewide partisan index for those political parties.

       (3) Establish and make public the precinct partisan index of each election precinct. To establish the precinct partisan index for each precinct in the state, the secretary of state shall add together the percentage of the vote received in that precinct by the political party nominees described in division (A)(2)(a) of this section. If in any of the three elections the percentages of those nominees do not equal one hundred per cent, the remaining percentage for those nominees in those elections shall be attributed to the parties of those nominees in the ratio of the percentages received by those nominees. The secretary of state shall then divide the percentage totals by three to establish the precinct partisan index for each political party in each precinct in the state.

       (B) The secretary of state shall also provide to the apportionment board, and make public, any additional data or election information the apportionment board requests in the form requested.

       (C) The general assembly shall make appropriations to adequately fund the activities of the apportionment board and the secretary of state's activities in support of the board, including, but not limited to, the provision of funds for equipment and staff.

5.  (A) District boundaries for house of representatives and senate districts shall be established in accordance with the provisions of this section.

       (B) The apportionment board shall administer a public competition to determine the house of representatives district map and the senate district map that comply, to the greatest extent, with the criteria set forth below. Those maps shall be adopted by the apportionment board as the general assembly maps until the next apportionment and shall be effective for the next subsequent general assembly.

       (C) Any resident of Ohio may submit one proposed house of representative district map and one proposed senate district map in the manner prescribed by the apportionment board. Plans shall be kept confidential by the board and its staff until the deadline for plan submission, at which time all properly submitted plans shall be made public.

       (D)(1)(a) Proposed maps shall, to the greatest extent possible, contain the number of house of representatives districts and senate districts that favor each political party represented in the state partisan index in the ratio reflected by that index.

       (b) No house of representatives district map may be adopted by the apportionment board that fails to include the number of districts favoring each political party in the ratio reflected by the state partisan index.

       (c) No senate district map may be adopted by the apportionment board that fails to include the number of districts favoring each political party in the ratio reflected by the state partisan index unless doing so is impossible, in which case the only senate map that may be adopted by the apportionment board is one that includes the number of districts favoring each political party in a ratio as close to that reflected by the state partisan index as is possible.

       (2)(a) For the purpose of evaluating proposed maps, the district partisan index shall be calculated for each proposed district in each map submitted in the competition that meets the requirements of division (D)(1) of this section.

       (b) The district partisan index shall be calculated by first adding together, for each of the elections represented in the calculation of the statewide partisan index, the number of votes cast in each precinct in a proposed district for the nominees of each of the political parties in those elections. The district-wide vote totals for the nominee of each party in each of the three elections shall be used to determine the district partisan ratio for each of those three elections by determining, from all votes cast for either such party in each election, the percentage of votes cast for the nominee of each party in each election. The average of those three percentages for each party will establish the district partisan index for each party in each proposed district.

       (E) In evaluating proposed maps, the apportionment board shall determine the extent to which the district partisan index of each proposed house of representatives district and each proposed senate district varies from the statewide partisan index. In particular, for each map, the board shall determine the number of districts in which the district partisan index varies from the state partisan index by:

       (1) Less than one per cent;

       (2) An amount equal to or greater than one per cent and less than three per cent;

       (3) An amount equal to or greater than three per cent and less than five per cent;

       (4) An amount equal to or greater than five per cent and less than ten per cent; and

       (5) An amount equal to or greater than ten per cent.

       (F) Any map, with respect to the categories set forth in divisions (E)(2) to (5) of this section, that has an equal number of proposed districts in which the district partisan index favors each political party which is represented in the state partisan index in each of those categories will be deemed a better map than one which has an unequal number of proposed districts in which the district partisan index favors each political party in each of those categories.

       (G) If two or more maps are presented that equally meet the criteria set forth in division (F) of this section, any map with a greater number of proposed districts in which the district partisan indices are between forty-nine per cent and fifty-one per cent will be preferred over other such maps.

       (H) If no map is presented that meets the criteria set forth in division (F) of this section, or if two or more maps equally meet the criteria set forth in division (G) of this section, the map with closest to an equal number of proposed districts in which the district partisan index favors each political party in each of the categories set forth in division (E) of this section will be deemed a better map than one which has a greater variance from an equal number of proposed districts in which the district partisan index favors each political party in those categories.

       (I) If two or more maps are presented that equally meet the criteria set forth in division (H) of this section, any map with a greater number of proposed districts in which the district partisan indices are between forty-nine per cent and fifty per cent will be deemed a better map than other such maps.

       (J) If two or more maps are presented that equally meet the criteria set forth in division (I) of this section, the map that preserves the greatest percentage of undivided municipalities will be deemed a better map than one that preserves fewer undivided municipalities.

       (K) If two or more maps are presented that equally meet the criteria set forth in division (J) of this section, the map with the lowest compactness index will be deemed a better map than others with a higher compactness index. For the purpose of this division, the compactness index will be calculated by averaging the compactness of all proposed districts in the map. The compactness of each proposed district shall be determined by dividing the area of the proposed district by its perimeter.

       (L) If two or more maps are presented that equally meet the criteria set forth in division (K) of this section, the apportionment board shall randomly select the map to be adopted from among those maps which equally meet the criteria set forth in that division.

       (M) The public competition for the establishment of senate districts shall not commence until the board has established the house of representatives districts.

       (N) Any map adopted by the apportionment board shall comply with all applicable federal constitutional provisions and all applicable federal statutory provisions, including, but not limited to, those dealing specifically with the protection of minority voting rights.

       (O) In calculating any of the percentages or indices in this article, all calculations shall be made to within one one-thousandth of one percent.

       Section 12 6.  (A) Except as specified in division (B) of this section, the apportionment board shall determine the appropriate district numbers for house of representatives districts and senate districts, seeking, in its sole and exclusive discretion, to assign numbers that will minimize voter confusion.

       (B) At any time the boundaries of senate districts are changed in any plan of apportionment made pursuant to any provision of this Articlearticle, a senator whose term will not expire within two years of the time the plan of apportionment is made shall represent, for the remainder of the term for which hethe senator was elected, the senate district which contains the largest portion of the population of the district from which hethe senator was elected, and the district shall be given the number of the district from which the senator was elected. If more than one senator whose term will not so expire would represent the same district by following the provisions of this section, the persons responsible for apportionment, by a majority of their number,board shall designate which senator shall represent the district and shall designate which district the other senator or senators shall represent for the balance of their term or terms.

       Section 13 7.  The supreme court of Ohio(A) Notwithstanding any provision of this Constitution or any law, the apportionment special tribunal established in division (B) of this section shall have exclusive, original jurisdiction in all cases and questions of law arising under this Articlearticle. In the event that any section of this Constitution relating to apportionment or any plan of apportionment made by the persons responsible for apportionment, by a majority of their number,board is determined to be invalid by either the supreme court of Ohio,apportionment special tribunal or the supreme court of the United Statesby an unappealed final order of a federal court of competent jurisdiction, then notwithstanding any other provisions of this Constitution, the persons responsible for apportionment by a majority of their numberboard shall ascertain and determineconvene to establish a plan of apportionment in conformity with such provisions of this Constitution as are then valid, including establishing terms of office and election of members of the general assembly from districts designated in the plan, to be used until the next regular apportionment in conformity with such provisions of this Constitution as are then valid.

       Notwithstanding any provision of this Constitution or any law regarding the residence of senators and representatives, a plan of apportionment made pursuant to this section shall allow thirty days for persons to change residence in order to be eligible for election.

       The governor shall give the persons responsible for apportionment two weeks advance written notice of the date, time, and place of any meeting held pursuant to this section. A decision of the apportionment special tribunal shall be final and is not appealable.

       (B) The apportionment special tribunal shall be composed of the following:

       (1) Two retired Ohio judges appointed by the governor;

       (2) Two retired Ohio judges appointed by the first of the following legislative leaders that is a member of a political party represented in the state partisan index that is not the political party of which the governor is a member:

       (a) The president of the Ohio senate;

       (b) The speaker of the Ohio house of representatives;

       (c) The minority leader of the Ohio senate; or

       (d) The minority leader of the Ohio house of representatives.

       (3) One retired Ohio judge, who will preside over the tribunal, who shall be appointed by the four judges appointed under divisions (B)(1) and (2) of this section.

       (C) The retired Ohio judges appointed under division (B) of this section shall have voluntarily retired from judicial service more than one year before their appointment to the apportionment special tribunal.

       (D) In each year ending in the numeral one, a new apportionment special tribunal shall be appointed. Members of the tribunal are eligible for reappointment.

       (E) The apportionment special tribunal shall operate using the rules of the Ohio supreme court, except as clearly inapplicable, and shall have all of the constitutional and statutory authority that the Ohio supreme court would have if it had jurisdiction to review cases and certified questions arising under this article, but at no time shall the tribunal or any other court order the establishment or implementation of any apportionment plan or the establishment or implementation of any house of representatives or senate district boundary map that has not been approved by the apportionment board in the manner prescribed by this article.

       (F) The general assembly shall make appropriations to adequately fund the activities of the apportionment special tribunal, including, but not limited to, the provision of funds for equipment and staff, and shall make other laws to facilitate the operations of the tribunal.

8.   Notwithstanding any provision of this Constitution or any law regarding the residence of senators and representatives, a plan of apportionment made pursuant to this article shall allow thirty days for persons to change residence in order to be eligible for election.

       Section 15 9.   The various provisions of this Article XIarticle are intended to be severable, and the invalidity of one or more of such provisions shall not affect the validity of the remaining provisions.

EFFECTIVE DATE

       If adopted by a majority of the electors voting on this proposal, Sections 1, 2, 6 (3), 12 (6), 13 (7), and 15 (9) of Article XI amended or amended and renumbered by this proposal and new Sections 4, 5, and 8 of Article XI enacted by this proposal shall take effect on January 1, 2011, and existing Sections 1, 2, 6, 12, 13, and 15 and Sections 3, 4, 5, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, and 14 of Article XI of the Constitution of Ohio are repealed from that effective date.

SCHEDULE

       The amendments to Section 12 (6) of Article XI of the Ohio Constitution in part substitute gender neutral for gender specific language. These gender neutralizing amendments are not intended to make a substantive change in the Ohio Constitution. The gender neutral language is to be construed as a restatement of, and substituted in a continuing way for, the corresponding gender specific language existing prior to adoption of the gender neutralizing amendments.

Please send questions and comments to the Webmaster.
© 2014 Legislative Information Systems | Disclaimer
Index of Legislative Web Sites