Ohio voters support longer legislative terms


Ohio voters support increasing the length of terms for state legislators, according to the latest Akron Buckeye Poll, conducted by The University of Akron’s Ray C. Bliss Institute of Applied Politics.

John Green

John Green

Three-fifths (61 percent) of Ohio registered voters support increasing the length of a single legislative term by two years for both state representatives (from two to four years) and state senators (from four to six years).

It appears that voters want legislators to have more time on the task of legislating between elections,” says John Green, director of the Bliss Institute and distinguished professor of political science.

Overall limit still favored

The survey also found that most Ohio voters (57 percent) are satisfied with the overall eight consecutive years term limit for state legislators. However, a majority of respondents (56 percent) expressed potential support for extending the maximum service to 12 consecutive years.

Voters still like the idea of an overall limit on how long officials serve, although there is some flexibility on what that number should be,” says Green.

The survey was a random sample of 1,078 registered voters in Ohio, including both landline and cell phone components, conducted in April 2014. The survey has a margin of error of plus or minus 3 percentage points. (The full report can be found online.)

Early voting also a winner

The data also indicate that the majority (60 percent) of Ohio registered voters support the current early voting process and believe it has produced good government in Ohio and helped the state.

Additionally, the study found that most Ohio registered voters are dissatisfied with the current process for legislative redistricting. Almost one-half (48 percent) of respondents say the current process for redrawing legislative districts has produced poor government in Ohio and hurt the state.

A plurality of respondents (44 percent) favors replacing the current process with a panel of nonpartisan experts; but, among respondents whose first choice was a nonpartisan or partisan panel, a majority (86 percent) would accept a bipartisan board for redistricting.

 Story by Nicholas Nussen

Media contact: Sarah Cupples, 330-972-7429 or scupples@uakron.edu.