After initially being turned away by the Secretary of State and Attorney General, Ohio Democrats found success in the Ohio Supreme Court, which unanimously ruled that the new congressional map contained in House Bill 319 is subject to referendum.
Following the decision, Attorney General Mike DeWine and Secretary of State Jon Husted certified the petitions and initial signatures of the referendum campaign, Ohioans for Fair Districts. The campaign had asked the Supreme Court to grant an additional order restarting the 90-day signature collection period because of delays caused by the court battle, but justices denied that request. Signatures will be due on December 25, 2011. Representatives of the Ohioans for Fair Districts committee said they are confident the campaign can meet that deadline.
Also as a result of the Supreme Court’s decision, the Ohio House concurred in Senate amendments to House Bill 318 that split Ohio’s 2012 spring primary in two, pushing the presidential and congressional contests back to June. Governor John Kasich quickly signed the bill. Meanwhile, leaders of both parties were meeting to attempt to work out a compromise map that could avoid the need for a referendum and the two primaries.