Former Lawmaker Suggests Deal on Redistricting

Feb 2, 2018

Credit U.S. Department of the Interior

State lawmakers have added a rare Monday session, in case they need to vote on changing the way Ohio’s Congressional map is drawn. One former lawmaker calls the current map the most gerrymandered one in state history, and has suggestions for his former colleagues and a coalition of citizens’ groups who want to take their plan to voters in the fall.

Former reporter and state lawmaker Mike Curtin says a deal between Republican state lawmakers, who want to keep control of drawing the map, and Democrats and citizens’ groups, who want a bipartisan commission to do it, comes down to a big compromise.

“Republicans have to not split big counties unless they must for population reasons, and Democrats have to give up this ghost of so-called representational fairness.”

Democrats say splitting urban counties breaks up communities. But Republicans say requiring the percentage of seats for each party to match each party’s percentage of votes is gerrymandering too. But Curtin says a truly fair map would be drawn based only on census population data, not on party affiliation data. Lawmakers have until Wednesday to pass a plan if they want it on the May ballot.