Talks To Reach Compromise Between Lawmakers And Citizens' Groups On Redistricting Deal Fail

Jan 29, 2018

A coalition of citizens’ groups had been talking with state lawmakers for days about a compromise to change the way Ohio’s Congressional map.  But both sides now say efforts to reach a deal have failed.

The groups, including Common Cause Ohio and the League of Women Voters of Ohio, say they’ll continue their drive to take their plan to the November ballot because they say the lawmakers’ plan doesn’t keep communities together or create a bipartisan process. The two Democratic lawmakers working on the plan agreed, saying it writes gerrymandering into the state constitution. Republican leaders said last week they wanted the citizens’ groups’ support, and described their changes as significant – they increased the amount of minority support required, but said splitting large counties into separate districts must be allowed. But a spokesman for Senate Republicans said what he called “these special interest groups” had no intention of coming to an agreement. Lawmakers have to pass their plan by next Wednesday if they want voters to decide on it in May.