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Statewide Issues On W.Va., Ohio Ballots

October 21, 2012
By JOSELYN KING - Political Writer , The Intelligencer / Wheeling News-Register

West Virginians will choose Nov. 6 whether sheriffs should serve more than eight consecutive years in office, while Ohioans will decide if a commission should draw the state's redistricting maps.

West Virginia has one statewide issue on the upcoming general election ballot, while Ohio puts two before voters.

- In Ohio, Issue 1 asks voters, "Shall there be a convention to revise, alter, or amend the Ohio Constitution?" Voters select "yes" or "no." A provision within the Ohio Constitution requires this question be asked of voters every 20 years, and it last went before voters in 1992.

Issue 2, meanwhile is a proposed constitutional amendment that's more controversial. It creates a state-funded 12-member commission to draw legislative and congressional districts. Members would be appointed to the commission, removing the authority of elected representatives when doing redistricting.

Under the terms of the amendment, four of the members must be affiliated with the Democratic Party, and the next four with the Republican Party. The remaining four members could not be associated with either party.

A panel of judges selected by the chief justice of the Ohio Supreme Court would appoint the members to the committee.

Proponents of the measure say Ohio's current system of allowing elected members of the Ohio General Assembly to draw district lines is flawed and unfair. Opponents say the move isn't needed, and would create an additional layer of bureaucracy and expense within government.

Voters in favor of establishing the commission should vote "yes," and those opposed should vote "no."

- In West Virginia, the proposed constitutional amendment would remove existing language from the constitution barring sheriffs from serving more than two consecutive terms.

Those voting "yes" signify they favor allowing sheriffs to stay in office for more than two terms, while those voting "no" support term limits on sheriffs.

If this amendment is ratified by the voters, there will be no term limits for sheriffs.

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