Congressional Redistricting Advocates Move Forward Undeterred

Jan 23, 2018

Supporters of a redistricting plan that might be on the November ballot are critical of a Republican bill being considered by Ohio lawmakers that would let them retain control over the process of drawing Congressional district lines.

The Ohio NAACP, Common Cause Ohio and the League of Women Voters of Ohio have been gathering signatures to put a proposed redistricting plan before voters this fall. The League of Women Voter’s Ann Henkener says the lawmakers' alternative plan would not stop the gerrymandering that's part of the current process.

“The whole idea of it passing is not something my brain can comprehend,” Henkener says.

Republican lawmakers, led by state Rep. Matt Huffman, want to put a redistricting amendment before voters in May. Henkener says her group’s plan, which would allow community members rather than lawmakers to control the process, will continue regardless of what might happen then.

“Everything that we need for changing (the process), whether it is changed in the interim or not, is in our proposal,” Henkener said.

Because this is a citizens’ effort, it can only go before voters in November.

Huffman's proposal, introduced last week, calls for at least one-third of Democrats to approve any 10-year map, a proportion that critics say is intended to divide minority lawmakers.