Republican Ohio House and Senate leaders said Wednesday that bipartisan approval could come by the end of January for a plan to reform the way congressional districts are drawn in Ohio. The proposal would then go to the ballot for voter approval and could be in place by the next time congressional district lines are drawn, following the 2020 census. Ohio House Speaker Cliff Rosenberger of Clarksville and Senate President Larry Obhof of Medina, however, did not provide details of what reform might involve. Advocates of a separate petition drive to change the Ohio Constitution in an effort to end political gerrymandering have said they would wait for details of any legislative plan before considering an end to their effort.
Congressional districts now are drawn with few rules, resulting in districts that make little geographic sense and produce lopsided elections in which no seat has changed party hands since the current maps were created after the 2010 census.
A working group of four legislators – two Democrats and two Republicans – was created in September with the goal of producing a bipartisan proposal.