Lawmakers, Citizen Groups Reach Deal on Congressional Redistricting

Feb 5, 2018

Senate committee approves plan to reform Congressional redistricting.

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.