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2018 was a big election year in Ohio. Republicans held onto all five statewide executive offices including governor and super majorities in both the Ohio House and Senate. But there were a few bright spots for Democrats, among them the reelection of U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown and the election of two Democrats to the Ohio Supreme Court.With election 2018 over, the focus now shifts to governing. Stay connected with the latest on politics, policies and people making the decisions at all levels affecting your lives.

Ohioans Overwhelmingly Approve Congressional Redistricting Plan

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KAREN KASLER
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OPR
Activists from Common Cause Ohio, the League of Women Voters and other volunteers gather to celebrate news that Issue 1 passed.

Voters overwhelmingly approved Issue 1, which changes the way the state’s Congressional district map will be drawn in 2021 and beyond.

It sets up new rules on splitting counties and increasing minority party input.

Issue 1 keeps the Congressional map drawing power with state lawmakers – though Republican legislators drew the current map, considered among the most gerrymandered in the country.

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Credit JEFF ST.CLAIR / WKSU
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WKSU
Catherine Turcer is the Executive Director for Common Cause Ohio, one of the groups that worked with lawmakers to craft the Issue 1 redistricting plan.

But for the ideal outcome a new map has to get 50 percent minority party approval.

Catherine Turcer of Common Cause Ohio gave credit to good government groups who’d worked on this issue for decades, and to state lawmakers who pushed for a deal earlier this year.

“We live in an incredibly polarized time. It’s so hard to come up with a compromise. And our legislature did it," says Turcer, "and so I’m just really happy.”

The process set up in Issue 1 takes effect after the 2020 census.

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.