Voters overwhelmingly backed a plan to reform Ohio’s hyper-partisan process for drawing legislative districts, and supporters are already looking ahead to passing the same reforms for congressional districts next year. “Today’s win was an important first step, but it only got us halfway there,” said Carrie Davis, executive director of the League of Women Voters of Ohio. “We need to take these new anti-gerrymandering rules that Issue 1 applied to the General Assembly and extend them to congressional districts, which are even more gerrymandered.” With 54 percent of precincts reporting, Issue 1, which will change the legislative redistricting process starting in 2021, when the lines are scheduled to be drawn again, was winning with 71 percent of the vote.
“Ohio voters can do amazing things when they work together. Let’s work together to reform the congressional map,” said Sandy Theis, executive director of ProgressOhio.
The new process will attempt to curtail the partisan gerrymandering of legislative districts that critics say has led to too many non-competitive districts, artificially protects the majority party’s power, and creates a system where incumbents have more fear of being challenged from the far flanks of their parties, causing them to govern in a more partisan manner.