Ohio Redistricting Reform Effort Stalls

Image: Ohio Secretary of State
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by Andy Chow

The plan to change the way congressional districts are drawn in Ohio was about to take another step forward, but has now hit a snag.

The proposal, which requires bipartisan approval on newly-drawn congressional districts, was scheduled for a vote in committee.

But the panel, which is part of the larger Ohio Constitutional Modernization Commission, delayed that vote for members who say they’re worried the measure breaks federal election laws.

Republican State Sen. Bill Coley said the plan, while good for state legislative districts, might break need tweaking for congressional districts.

“The point I’m trying to hammer home is let’s make sure that we provide the voters with something that complies with federal law, it complies with itself, it can be done, and let’s show them what it looks like,” Coley said.

Democratic State Sen. Charleta Tavares said she wants to build on the success of a ballot issue last fall, which changed the way state lawmakers’ districts are drawn.

“The longer we continue a process where we gerrymander districts that work in the favor of party X or party Y, the longer the people’s voice is not heard,” Tavares said.

The committee hopes to meet again within the next six weeks to pass a plan.

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