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Plan To Change Congressional Redistricting Process Hits Snag

Andy Chow
The Legislative Branch and Executive Branch Committee of the Ohio Constitutional Modernization Commission meets in the Ohio Statehouse

Last year voters overwhelmingly approved redistricting reform for state legislative maps. Now a similar plan is in the works for congressional redistricting. But some officials fear that measure might break federal law. 

A committee with the Ohio Constitutional Modernization Commission put off on voting for a plan that would require bipartisan support for any new congressional district maps.

Republican Senator Bill Coley believes the plan, while good for state legislative districts, might break need tweaking for congressional districts.

“The point I’m trying to hammer home is -- let’s make sure that we provide the voters with something that complies with federal law -- it complies with itself, it can be done and let’s show them what it looks like,” Coley said.

But Democratic Senator Charleta Tavares says she wants to build on the success of a ballot issue last fall, which changed the way state lawmakers’ districts are drawn.

“The longer we continue a process where we gerrymander districts that work in the favor of Party X or Party Y -- the longer the people’s voice is not heard,” said Tavares.

Supporters say the time is growing short to pass a congressional redistricting proposal. The group will meet and come up with a fine tuned plan within the next six weeks.

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