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Ohio Voters Overwhelmingly Approve Issue 1, Limiting Congressional Gerrymandering

Activists from Common Cause Ohio, the League of Women Voters and other volunteers gather to celebrate news that Issue 1 passed.
Karen Kasler
/
Ohio Public Radio
Activists from Common Cause Ohio, the League of Women Voters and other volunteers gather to celebrate news that Issue 1 passed.

Voters overwhelmingly approved Issue 1, which changes the way the state’s Congressional district map will be drawn in 2021 and beyond. It sets up new rules on splitting counties and increasing minority party input.

The measure was approved by Ohio voters by 75 percent, a three-to-one margin.

Issue 1 keeps the Congressional map drawing power with state lawmakers – though Republican legislators drew the current map, considered among the most gerrymandered in the country. But for the ideal outcome a new map has to get 50 percent minority party approval.

Catherine Turcer of Common Cause Ohio gave credit to good government groups who’d worked on this issue for decades, and to state lawmakers who pushed for a deal earlier this year.

“We live in an incredibly polarized time," Turcer said. "It’s so hard to come up with a compromise. And our legislature did it. And so I’m just really happy.”

The process set up in Issue 1 takes effect after the 2020 census.

Ohio’s current Congressional district map was drawn by Republican state lawmakers with input from party consultants in a Columbus hotel room in 2011. The map includes 12 Republican districts and just four Democratic ones in a state that voted for Barack Obama in 2012 and Donald Trump in 2016.