District map-making initiatives battle on separate Ohio ballots

Election Ohio_363750

A voter casts his ballot into an electronic voting machine at a polling station located in the Taft Information Technology High School, Tuesday, Nov. 7, 2017, in Cincinnati. Ohio voters will decide ballot issues on Tuesday that would place limits on drug prices and expand victims’ rights in criminal proceedings, along with several mayoral races. […]

COLUMBUS (AP) – A pair of competing proposals aimed at changing Ohio’s rules for congressional map-making could appear on separate statewide ballots later this year.

The dueling proposals come amid national concern that current gerrymandered maps are driving heightened partisanship and gridlock in Washington.

Democrats, Republicans and voter advocacy groups agree changes are needed but not on what they should look like.

A plan introduced by state Sen. Matt Huffman, a Lima Republican, leaves Ohio’s redistricting process in the hands of the Republican-controlled state Legislature, but sends disputes to a bipartisan Ohio Redistricting Commission voters approved in 2014.

Fair Congressional Districts for Ohio, a coalition of voter advocacy groups, proposes handing the process entirely to the new commission.

Huffman’s plan would be voted on in May, the coalition’s in November.

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