DeWine Gives Green Light To Congressional Redistricting Plan

May 23, 2017

A group that wants to change the way Ohio draws congressional districts has gotten approval to take its proposal to the next step.

Attorney General Mike DeWine on Monday gave his approval to the group's petition summary for the ballot proposal.

He called it a "fair and truthful" summary of the proposed constitutional amendment after earlier rejecting their initial language.

Fair Congressional Districts for Ohio mirrors a proposal Ohio voters approved overwhelming in 2015 that changed the map-making process for state legislative districts. The proposed amendment calls for the same seven-member commission of state lawmakers and elected officials that redraws legislative districts to do the same for congressional districts.

They want to stop lawmakers from creating congressional districts that are overwhelmingly packed with Republicans or Democrats. National experts say Ohio's congressional map is among the most gerrymandered and partisan in the country, with some districts completely hooking around others. Some portions of one Lake Erie-front district are just a few feet wide.

The measure now goes to the Ohio Ballot Board for consideration. If that panel rules it is a single measure, supporters will need to gather more than 305,000 valid petition signatures.

They could have an amendment on the ballot as early as November 2018.