Supporters of an Ohio redistricting reform ballot initiative can begin collecting signatures to put the measure before voters next year. The Ohio Ballot Board on Tuesday certified the proposed Bipartisan Congressional Redistricting Reform Amendment as one ballot issue. The measure borrows much of its language from the 2015 ballot issue that made changes to the state legislative redistricting process. The League of Women Voters of Ohio and other supporters, calling themselves Fair Congressional Districts for Ohio, say the measure would rein in partisan gerrymandering when district lines are drawn, which happens every 10 years.
Petitioners need to collect at least 305,591 signatures of registered Ohio voters — meeting a minimum number in 44 of Ohio’s 88 counties — to qualify for the ballot. Amendment backers are shooting for the November 2018 ballot.
Under the proposed constitutional amendment, the same seven-member commission of state lawmakers and elected officials that will draw Statehouse district maps would also approve congressional districts. A map would need the votes of two minority party members for approval.