Council Districts

Summary of Reforms: The following table provides a very brief overview of the proposed charter amendment. The full text of the amendment 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 through 2023. 9 districts created for 2023 elections with members seated in January 2024.9 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.Develops a process by which defined neighborhood groups vote on nominees to fill vacancies in their districts (“District Nominating Entities” – “DNE”). Council appoints the DNE weighted vote winning nominee, or another applicant.
Sec. 6 – Qualifications of membersSets basic qualificationsBasic qualifications retained, plus a member appointed by council cannot serve in the next term if they were not nominated by the District Nominating Entity process.
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.