Council Districts

Summary of Reforms: The following table provides a very brief overview of the proposed charter amendment. The full text of the amendment and petition for circulating is below for downloading.

Charter SectionCurrent ProvisionsProposed Amendment
Sec. 3 – Legislative Powers9 member council. Members live in one of 9 districts (in 2023 elections). All members elected in at-large (citywide) elections.Members in 9 districts, each elected solely by residents of the district in which they reside in 2021 elections.
Sec. 4 – Council membersElections are citywide.Elections are by district.
Sec 4 – Transition7 member council until 2021 or 2023 election, depending on passage of issue in November 2020, or May 2021 respectively, with 9 districts in the municipal election after passage of charter amendment.9 Districts have been drawn. Elections by district in 2021 for members to be seated January 2022.
Sec. 5 – VacanciesCouncil selects members for a vacated seat.Members are appointed to a vacated seat by council, but are ineligible to serve in the subsequent term (cannot run for election). Neighborhood Area Commissioners who live in the district can nominate candidates to council from among the applicants. Council must consider those nominated by area commissioners.
Sec. 6 – Qualifications of membersSets basic qualificationsBasic qualifications retained, plus members must live in the district they seek to represent. A member appointed by council cannot serve in the term following appointment. Term limits per Sec. 6-1 affect qualification to serve.
Sec 6.1 – Term LimitsNone12 consecutive years of service. Clock resets after one year off.
Sec. 7 – Districting for council5 member citizen-led districting commission of city electors appointed every 10 years after census to recommend 3 options for council to select one.Sections 3-7 are named “The Columbus Fair Elections Plan.” 7 member independent districting commission with at least 5 city electors appointed every 10 years that receives and evaluates public input and public comment and submits a final redistricting plan that council adopts. No more than 3 members may be members of the same political party. No person’s address may be considered in drawing district boundaries.
Exhibit ANoneApportionment Map and Plan created. 9 districts defined – 2 are majority African American to comply with the Voting Rights Act of 1965. A Weighting Table for District Nominating Entities shows the relative weight of each DNE within each district for the vacancy appointment nomination process. Map in effect for 2021 district election, if amendment is approved in November 2021.