Columbus Chamber opposes Ohio Issue 2

The Columbus Chamber yesterday announced its opposition to Ohio Issue 2, the Ohio redistricting amendment that will appear on the Nov. 6 ballot.

The proposed constitutional amendment would create an unelected, 12-member commission that would draw legislative and congressional districts; the commission would be appointed through a process involving eight Court of Appeals judges selected by the Ohio Supreme Court.

“Our business community desires a redistricting process that answers to elected officials,” said Michael Dalby, president and CEO of the Columbus Chamber, in a statement. “We agree that reform is needed. However, this proposed amendment isn’t the solution. While we oppose Issue 2, we strongly urge the legislature to work in a bipartisan fashion to craft a workable redistricting plan far in advance of the 2018 statewide races.”

The chamber said it opposes the issue because it is not bipartisan, places judges in a partisan situation, and undermines the “separation of powers” doctrine in the constitution. Instead, the organization supports reforms to Ohio’s redistricting and reapportionment process that would provide accountability and enable voters to rely on fair legislative and congressional districts.

The chamber came to its position after staff analysis, discussions with chamber membership, and input from the chamber’s volunteer government affairs steering committee, Presentations by, and discussions with, proponents and opponents of Issue 2 also influenced the organization. The position was finalized by a vote of the chamber’s board.

The position is consistent with the chamber’s position in 2005 on State Issue 4, which also sought to implement a mechanism to change the way state and federal legislative districts are drawn.

A full copy of the chamber’s resolution opposing Ohio Issue 2 can be read at Columbus.org.