Ohio Republicans, Democrats Strike Deal on Redistricting

Ohio's current state Senate districts. (Ohio Secretary of State)
Ohio's current state Senate districts. (Ohio Secretary of State)

The hope is to avoid gerrymandering, in which one political party draws maps to its advantage.

The new agreement requires a seven-member board to draw maps that receive at least two minority party votes. It only affects offices in the state legislature, not Congressional districts. It

Redistricting reform has been a big goal for Democratic Representative Vernon Sykes of Akron -- who’s leaving the Legislature after 26 years.

"This is the most significant bipartisan activity that I’ve been involved in my time here in the House and in the General Assembly," he said.

If a map does not receive two minority party votes, it would be used for four years rather than 10. After that, the board would redraw the map for the remaining six years. As of now, the maps are drawn every 10 years based on the Census.

The measure has passed the Senate and now goes back to the House for final approval. Once passed, it would then go to the voters as a ballot issue next November.

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