FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Monday, August 15, 2011
SECRETARY OF STATE HUSTED SAYS OHIOANS CAN NOW DRAW LEGISLATIVE MAPS AT RESHAPEOHIO.ORG Data and software now available to Ohioans seeking to create and submit redistricting plans
COLUMBUS – Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted today announced that visitors to www.ReshapeOhio.org now have the ability to draw new state and congressional district boundaries using 2010 U.S. Census data and the web-based, map drawing program Maptitude.
“ReshapeOhio.org provides an opportunity to educate the public about the redistricting process and makes universally available the same technology the Apportionment Board and General Assembly will be using to develop their maps,” Husted said. “It is my hope that Ohioans will engage and provide their input to this very important process.”
ReshapeOhio.org is sponsored by Secretary Husted, the Legislative Task Force on Redistricting and the Ohio Apportionment Board and was unveiled during the first meeting of the Apportionment Board. It is meant to serve as a guide for those wishing to learn more about the two parallel, but separate processes for creating new General Assembly and Congressional districts for Ohio based on the latest Census data. Additionally, as of today, visitors to the site will be able to use what they have learned while exploring the site to create and if they choose, submit a plan for new General Assembly districts for consideration by the Apportionment Board.
Under the Apportionment Board’s rules, maps must be submitted no later than noon on September 23, 2011 to be considered. Those submitting maps will be required to furnish 10 paper copies and one electronic copy to the Apportionment Board via the Ohio House Clerk’s Office, Ohio Statehouse, 2nd Floor, Columbus, Ohio 43215. Plans must include a visual representation and legal definitions of those districts and should be completed for the entire state, that is, including all districts. The only exception applies to those submitting stand-alone minority districts, though these submissions must also include both a visual representation and legal definitions of the proposed boundaries of all districts in the county or counties which would contain the proposed minority districts. For more information about the submission process and available technical support, visit www.ReshapeOhio.org.
While there is no formal submission process for submitting congressional district plans to the General Assembly, the software and data on ReshapeOhio.org is also conducive for those who want to provide input to their own state legislators who will have a vote on the final Congressional district maps.
“ReshapeOhio.org was a priority for me because the redistricting process will have a great impact on Ohio’s future, including the leaders it elects and the policies on which we embark as a state and nation,” Husted said. “The challenges we face in this country require an engaged and informed public and we hope this public process will provide another important means to that end.”
Enactment of Ohio’s congressional districts by the Ohio General Assembly and of state legislative districts by the State Apportionment Board occurs every 10 years following the decennial Census. While there is no legal deadline for congressional lines, state legislative maps must be completed by October 5, 2011 per the Ohio Constitution.
For more information, contact matt McClellan at 614-995-2168 or firstname.lastname@example.org.