This Note proposes to explain the construction and political history of the 2012 Ohio Ballot Issue 2, extract lessons learned from its defeat, and, using those lessons, construct an alternative model referendum for congressional redistricting reform. What events led up to the November General Election defeat? Part II explores the history of redistricting and referendum. I also include a discussion on the various models of citizens redistricting commissions, including those adopted in California and Arizona (from which Ohio Issue 2 was largely borrowed), as well as recent constitutional challenges to citizens redistricting commissions. In Part III, I discuss the lessons learned in how Issue 2 incorporated state judges into the redistricting process. I call these the strategic lessons. Issue 2 required state judges to monitor the appointment process for the commissioners. I propose to remove judges from the commissioner nomination process, keeping the process in the legislative branch. The courts should only review and certify the citizens commission’s electoral map.
Note: A Citizen's Guide to Redisticting Reform Through Referendum, 63 Clev. St. L. Rev. 865 (2015)