Speed Reads


Ohio voters approve bipartisan redistricting plan to avoid gerrymandering

On Tuesday, Ohio voters overwhelmingly passed Issue 1, a plan to change how the state draws its congressional districts to prevent excessively partisan gerrymandering. Currently, there are "12 congressional seats safe for Republicans and four guaranteed for Democrats in the quintessential swing state that leans — not lunges — to the right," The Cincinnati Enquirer notes. The new plan — which takes effect in 2021, after the 2020 census determines how many congressional seats Ohio gets — was approved by the state legislature in February and is supported by both the Ohio Republican Party and Ohio Democratic Party.

Under the plan, the first of its kind, the 2021 map will be drawn by the state General Assembly but must be approved by 60 percent of lawmakers in the Ohio House and Senate, including half the members of the minority party. If lawmakers can't agree on a map, it goes to a commission made up of the governor, secretary of state, auditor, and two lawmakers from each major party. If they can't agree on a map, the General Assembly takes another crack, with a lower approval threshold, a four-year expiration date, and stricter guidelines to protect against gerrymandering. Ohio voters overwhelmingly approved an anti-gerrymander system for state legislative districts in 2015.