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If the U.S. is supposed to be a representative democracy, when did this country go from voters picking their representatives to politicians picking their voters? WKSU takes a look at the evolution of Ohio's congressional district, how they've gone from making geographic sense to the twisted, contorted shapes they are today.

Lawmakers, Citizen Groups Reach Deal on Congressional Redistricting

photo of Senate committee approving redistricting bill

A  deal has been reached to reform the way Ohio’s congressional district map is drawn, after weeks of difficult negotiations between Republicans, Democrats, and a citizens group that wanted to put its own plan on the fall ballot. The map drawing power stays with state lawmakers but under new rules. 

In this proposal, the first three attempts by state lawmakers to draw a map require buy-in from the minority party. If a fourth round is needed, the majority can pass a map with strict requirements to avoid partisan gerrymandering. Right now Ohio has 12 Republican and 4 Democratic members of Congress, but Ohio will likely lose a seat in the next census. 

A coalition of citizens’ groups was pushing its own ballot issue to change Congressional redistricting. The coalition’s Heather Taylor-Miesle says this sets Ohio up for a fairer map after the next census.

“I think in 2022 you’re gonna see a lot more competitive districts people are not going to be able to take their citizens for granted anymore," Taylor-Miesle says.

The proposal must be approved by lawmakers before going to the May ballot.

Andy Chow is a general assignment state government reporter who focuses on environmental, energy, agriculture, and education-related issues. He started his journalism career as an associate producer with ABC 6/FOX 28 in Columbus before becoming a producer with WBNS 10TV.