Ohio voters approve gerrymandering reform plan

CINCINNATI -- Ohio voters approved a ballot issue Tuesday to create a new process for drawing congressional districts.

Issue 1 passed with about 75 percent of voters in favor and about 25 percent against, with 99.02 percent of precincts reporting, according to unofficial preliminary results from the Ohio Secretary of State's Office. The ballot issue had even greater support in Hamilton County, where 78.36 percent of votes supported the new process and just 21.64 opposed it.

The issue drew broad support from both Democrats and Republicans. Lawmakers said the new process will be bipartisan and public, and that it will reduce gerrymandering of congressional districts.

Under the new process, the state House and Senate must have support from at least 50 percent of minority party members to pass a map with a three-fifths vote. If lawmakers fail to reach a compromise, the power to approve the map will move to a bipartisan seven-person committee. The committee must have at least two minority party supporters to approve the map. 

If the committee also fails to reach an agreement, the map goes back to the state legislature, which can then either pass a map which will remain in 10 years if they have a third of the minority party's members supporting it or a four-year map if they have a simple majority. 

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