Senate District 17
Bob Peterson
Peterson Applauds Passage Of Historic Congressional Redistricting Reform Plan
February 6, 2018
Ohio Mayors Alliance present "Commonsense Governing Award" to the legislative leaders in both chambers for their bipartisan plan to reform congressional redistricting in Ohio.

COLUMBUS—State Senator Bob Peterson (R-Washington Court House) announced that this week the Ohio Senate unanimously passed a plan to reform the process for drawing Ohio’s congressional districts. With a strong bipartisan vote in the Ohio House today, Substitute Senate Joint Resolution 5  will now go before Ohio voters on the May ballot. The passage of Sub SJR 5 follows weeks of negotiations between the leadership of both parties in the General Assembly and various redistricting reform coalitions.
“The passage of this resolution showcases government tackling the tough issues and actually working together to pass legislation that is good for Ohioans. Redistricting reform is as challenging as it gets,” said Peterson. “I am proud of the collaborative and bipartisan manner in which this resolution came to be.”
The reforms keep communities together by limiting divisions of counties, townships and municipalities.

  • Sub. S.J.R. 5 specifies that at least 65 counties will be kept whole and limits how many total county splits can occur.

  • Cleveland and Cincinnati will remain whole within their districts.

The plan requires significant support from both parties, ensuring a map with bipartisan approval.

  • Step one: A 10-year map proposed by the General Assembly requires a three-fifths vote in each chamber with 50% of the minority party’s vote. If there is no agreement on the initial map, the process moves to the bipartisan Redistricting Commission, which Ohio voters approved in 2015.

  • Step two: A 10-year map drawn by the 7-member Commission requires two minority votes to pass. If that effort fails, the map drawing responsibility moves back to the legislature.

  • Step three: A 10-year map requires a three-fifths vote in each chamber with a one-third vote of the minority party. If the required votes are not obtained, a 4-year map can be passed with a simple majority, but it cannot be drawn to unduly favor or disfavor one political party.

 More highlights include:

  • Preserving and protecting voters' civil rights.

  • Protecting the governor’s ability to veto a map.

  • Maintaining Ohioans’ ability to file a referendum against a congressional map.

  • Clarifying that a court challenge can be brought to an entire map not just individual districts.

Senator Matt Huffman (R-Lima), sponsor of Sub. S.J.R. 5, added, “This plan ends the process of stretching districts far across the state, while maintaining the importance of the historic Voting Rights Act. I appreciate the long hours and hard work that many put into reaching today’s solution, and I’m proud of the plan we are able to deliver to the people of Ohio."

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