An initiative to decide how Ohio’s congressional and legislative maps should be drawn will be on the ballot in November, giving Ohio voters a chance to decide whether to end a gerrymandering system that has been in place for more than 40 years.
According to the Columbus Dispatch
, the ballot initiative was approved Monday by Ohio’s secretary of state, clearing the way for a public vote on a proposed new system that Republicans strongly oppose.
Under the current system, the political party that controls the state house gets to take the lead in redrawing the district maps for both congressional and legislative elections every 10 years, following the U.S. Census count.
But under the ballot proposal, a 12-member independent commission would be created that does not favor one party over the other. Current and former lawmakers would be prohibited from participating on the commission, as would lobbyists and big campaign contributors.
Voters First, a group that includes the Ohio League of Women Voters and has the backing of Democrats and unions, pushed the ballot initiative through by obtaining more than 406,000 valid signatures from registered voters.
Republicans, who control 13 of Ohio’s 18 U.S. House seats and hold wide majorities in the legislature, are opposed to the amendment.
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