State Republicans and Democrats are working to coalesce around a new system for drawing congressional and legislative districts with hopes they can reach the resolution they have promised the public by year’s end. States alter political maps to reflect population shifts identified by the U.S. Census once every 10 years in a process called redistricting. Both parties have acknowledged flaws in Ohio’s setup, which has state lawmakers drawing congressional lines and a state Apportionment Board drawing the districts of state legislators. A panel studying changes to Ohio’s state Constitution had seemed to be zeroing in on a proposal for a new system to put before voters. But some legislative leaders say they don’t want to wait any longer.
“They’re merely an advisory panel, and they’ve been at work for the better part of four years,” said Senate President Keith Faber, a Celina Republican. “We’re ready to move forward.”
The Senate’s favored plan creates a seven-member Ohio Redistricting Commission, which would draw legislative and congressional districts. The commission would be made up by the governor, the state auditor, the secretary of state and one person appointed by each of the four party leaders in the House and the Senate. At least one minority-party vote would be required for the maps to be approved.