COLUMBUS - At the first meeting of the state Apportionment Board, Secretary of State Jon Husted unveiled ReshapeOhio.org, a website sponsored by the Legislative Task Force on Redistricting, the Ohio Apportionment Board and the Ohio Secretary of State's office that is designed to give Ohioans an opportunity to engage in the effort redraw state and congressional district boundaries.
"The new legislative districts, and the leaders who will be elected to represent them, will help to shape Ohio for the next 10 years and beyond," Secretary Husted said. "It was an important priority for us to provide an open and interactive means to educate the general public and get Ohioans more involved in the process."
At www.ReshapeOhio.org, Ohioans can:
- Learn more about the two separate but parallel processes of redrawing Statehouse and Congressional districts, which takes place only once every 10 years;
- Follow the proceedings of the state Apportionment Board and the legislative committees the Ohio House and Senate have established to take testimony from the general public on redistricting, and
- Soon try their hand at drawing their own maps using the same technology those legally responsible for drawing the maps will be using.
Maptitude -- a web-based, map-drawing program -- complete with detailed 2010 Census data, will be available at www.ReshapeOhio.org in coming days. For the time being, interested Ohioans can go to the website to learn more about the process and take advantage of web tutorials to familiarize themselves with Maptitude so they will be ready to draw their maps. They may also sign up to be notified when the data and software become available.
"Technology has come a long way over the last 10 years and I am pleased we can provide a portal whereby Ohioans can participate in drawing legislative lines from the convenience of their own homes," Secretary Husted said. "Whether members of the public plan to formally submit a map to the Apportionment Board or just want to tinker with the software, it serves to take some of the mystery out of the process."
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 under the Ohio Constitution.