Ohio lawmakers approve redistricting reform proposal for voters

From Reuters - February 6, 2018

(Reuters) - Ohio lawmakers approved redistricting reform on Tuesday aimed at curbing gerrymandering by changing how electoral district boundaries are drawn to ensure they do not favor one politicalparty over another.

The measure will be sent to voters in May.

Ohio House Speaker Pro Tempore Kirk Schuring said in a statement that the measure would create a fair and competitive system.

At least four states including Ohio, Michigan, Missouri and South Dakota are expected to put redistricting initiatives on ballots this year to curtail partisan gerrymandering, the manipulation of the composition of legislative districts to amplify the voting power of one party at the expense of another.

The issue is also playing out in courts. The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday refused to block a lower court ruling requiring Republican-drawn congressional districts in Pennsylvania to be redrawn immediately.

The Supreme Court is expected to rule later this year on whether Wisconsin Republican lawmakers created unconstitutional state legislative districts.

Ohios measure was a compromise reached by Republicans, Democrats and a voter advocacy group. When the legislature draws new maps, they must win three-fifths support from each chamber, including at least 50 percent support from the minority party.


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