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Ohio's Bipartisan Congressional Redistricting Talks Fall Apart

photo of the congressional districts in Ohio
JON HUSTED
/
OHIO SECRETARY OF STATE

A coalition of citizens’ groups had been talking with state lawmakers for days about a compromise to change the way Ohio’s Congressional map. Both sides -- as well as Democrats who were working onthe deal -- say efforts to reach a deal have failed.

The groups, including Common Cause Ohio and the League of Women Voters of Ohio, said they’ll continue their drive to take their plan to the November ballot because they said the GOP lawmakers’ plan doesn’t keep communities together or create a bipartisan process. 

The two Democratic lawmakers working on the plan agreed, saying it writes gerrymandering into the state Constitution.

Republican leaders said last week they wanted the citizens groups’ support, and described their changes as significant; they increased the amount of minority support required, but said splitting large counties into separate districts must be allowed.

However, a spokesman for Senate Republicans said what he called “these special interest groups” had no intention of coming to an agreement.

Lawmakers have to pass their plan by next Wednesday if they want voters to decide on it in May. Republicans have a majority in the Legislature, so they don't need Democratic support. 

Karen is a lifelong Ohioan who has served as news director at WCBE-FM, assignment editor/overnight anchor at WBNS-TV, and afternoon drive anchor/assignment editor in WTAM-AM in Cleveland. In addition to her daily reporting for Ohio’s public radio stations, she’s reported for NPR, the BBC, ABC Radio News and other news outlets. She hosts and produces the Statehouse News Bureau’s weekly TV show “The State of Ohio”, which airs on PBS stations statewide. She’s also a frequent guest on WOSU TV’s “Columbus on the Record”, a regular panelist on “The Sound of Ideas” on ideastream in Cleveland, appeared on the inaugural edition of “Face the State” on WBNS-TV and occasionally reports for “PBS Newshour”. She’s often called to moderate debates, including the Columbus Metropolitan Club’s Issue 3/legal marijuana debate and its pre-primary mayoral debate, and the City Club of Cleveland’s US Senate debate in 2012.