Ohio Congressional Redistricting Plan Approved For May Ballot

Feb 21, 2018

A plan to change the way the state’s map of Congressional districts will be drawn after the 2020 census will be on the May ballot as Issue 1.

The Ballot Board voted to put before voters statewide the deal Republican legislative leaders worked out with Democratic lawmakers and citizens’ organizations who were pushing a ballot issue for November.

Ballot board chair and Secretary of State Jon Husted praised his former colleagues in the legislature for this deal, something he’d tried to do when he was a lawmaker.

“I’d like to congratulate the members of the General Assembly for bringing this to us today and look forward to seeing it on the ballot in May,” Husted said.

Citizens’ groups had wanted to put the map-drawing authority with a bipartisan commission. But the issue voters will see ultimately keeps the power with lawmakers.

In return, the lawmakers agreed to concessions on limiting the number of times counties can be split and requiring minority party buy-in for long-term Congressional maps.

If lawmakers can't reach such an agreement, the map-making process moves to an existing bipartisan commission. If that failed, the majority party could make a shorter-term map with more restrictions to prevent gerrymandering.