Ohio legislature approves redistricting amendment, question to be sent to voters

Ohio legislature approves redistricting amendment, question to be sent to voters

The Ohio House of Representatives [official website] on Tuesday approved [PDF] a Senate bill [materials] that would reform current redistricting policies. The proposed constitutional amendment provides the legislature the opportunity to draw the state’s congressional districts and approve them with a three-fifths vote, including at least one-third of the minority party. Should the map fail to garner sufficient support in the legislature, it will then move to an independent redistricting committee.

This legislation differs greatly from Ohio’s existing redistricting laws [text] that give primacy to the redistricting committee and allowed for the majority party to draw district lines with little guidance from the minority. As a constitutional amendment, the proposal will require public approval, and will appear on the ballot in a May special election. If approved, the bill will become effective on January 1, 2021.

Ohio is just one of several states whose redistricting processes are in flux. Others included Maryland, Pennsylvania, North Carolina, Wisconsin, and Texas [JURIST reports].