The rules for crafting state legislative and congressional districts will be different in 2021.
Ohio voters sent a loud message with the 2015 Election! More than 71% of Ohio voters supported a new bipartisan system to draw state legislative district lines. Issue 1 of 2015 tackled gerrymandering at the Statehouse and won in all 88 counties.
But right after the election, former Ohio House Speaker Cliff Rosenberger put plans to extend the legislative map-making reforms to Congress on the back burner. The Speaker made his opposition very clear – he suggested we wait and see how the state reforms play out. Since mapmaking only happens every ten years, we would have to wait 17 years for fair Congressional district lines. That’s simply too long!
By 2017 it was clear that the state legislature wasn't going to act on congressional redistricting reform! The Fair Districts = Fair Elections Coalition began to collect signatures to take congressional redistricting reform directly to the voters.
Legislative action since Fair Districts collected more than 100,000 signatures:
On September 28, 2017 legislative leaders announced the creation of the Ohio Congressional Redistricting Reform Working Group. State Senators Matt Huffman (R-Lima) and Vern Sykes (D-Akron) and State Representatives Kirk Schuring (R-Canton) and Jack Cera (D-Bellaire) were appointed to be on the Working Group.
On January 17, 2018, state Senator Matt Huffman (R-Lima) introduced Senate Joint Resolution 5 (SJR 5). This congressional redistricting reform proposal was amended and was approved overwhelmingly by Democrats and Republicans in the Ohio Senate and House and became Issue 1 on May 2018's ballot. Ohio voters then overwhelmingly supported these congressional redistricting reform. Issue 1 of May 2018 won in all 88 counties with 74.85% of the vote!
Issue 1 of May 2018 creates more transparency, bipartisan mapmaking and requires that 65 of the 88 counties are kept whole which will rein in gerrymandering.