A pair of House Democrats announced Thursday a plan to change how Ohio draws its congressional districts, but a similar plan lacked support last year in the Republican-led legislature. The proposal, introduced by Reps. Kathleen Clyde of Kent and Mike Curtin of Marble Cliff, resembles one that the Republican-led General Assembly approved last year for drawing Statehouse districts. That plan goes before voters in November. … Clyde and Curtin’s plan has no Republican co-sponsors. Currently, congressional lines are drawn every 10 years by a committee of lawmakers and approved by the General Assembly. The setup allows the party in power — Republicans in 2011 — to draw lines and approve maps without minority-party input. Republicans hold 12 of Ohio’s 16 congressional seats yet only won 55 percent of the votes in recent congressional elections statewide.
“Our current congressional redistricting process disenfranchises Ohio citizens,” Clyde said Thursday in a press release. “Meaningful reform is needed to give our constituents better representation and greater transparency and accountability from their government. Our proposal will add fairness and common sense to the district-drawing process.”
State lawmakers considered a similar scheme late last year, but Republican leaders dropped the plan because they said changing the congressional district process could conflict with a pending U.S. Supreme Court case involving Arizona’s process. That decision is expected in June.