State lawmakers would still draw congressional districts, but would need bipartisan support to approve a map under a GOP proposal unveiled Wednesday morning. Sen. Matt Huffman, the Lima Republican behind the proposal, said requiring minority-party votes and setting new rules for how districts could be drawn are improvements over the current process. But Democrats and redistricting-reform advocates say the plan still allows for too much political maneuvering by the majority party. The Fair Districts = Fair Elections coalition plans to move forward with its proposed constitutional amendment.
“What we heard, unless it’s significantly modified, is worse than we currently have in terms of protection of the rights of citizens of Ohio to be fairly represented,” said Richard Gunther, an Ohio State University political science professor emeritus who drafted the amendment.
Congressional and Statehouse districts are redrawn every 10 years following the U.S. Census. Ohio is expected to go from 16 to 15 congressional districts when maps are redrawn next in 2021.