COLUMBUS—State Representative Steve Arndt (R-Port Clinton) announced that the Ohio House has approved Senate Joint Resolution 5, paving the way for historic, bipartisan redistricting reform to now go before voters on the primary ballot on May 8th.

“Senate Joint Resolution 5 is the result of months of hard work and input from both sides of the aisle and from stakeholders such as Fair Districts=Fair Elections and the League of Women Voters,” said Arndt. “I believe that the end result is a fair and competitive redistricting system that will improve the voting process here in Ohio.”

The culmination of months of talks between Republican and Democrat House and Senate members and a coalition of engaged citizens, Senate Joint Resolution 5 aims draw Congressional districts similar to Issue 1, a 2015 ballot initiative that changed the way state House and Senate districts are drawn.

If passed by voters in May, Ohio’s new redistricting system would require drawing a map that earns three-fifths support by each chamber of the General Assembly, with at least 50 percent support from the minority party.

Failure to meet that threshold would send the decision to the seven-member Redistricting Commission, consisting of appointees from the Governor, Secretary of State and State Auditor, as well as two Republicans and two Democrats from the Ohio House and Senate. The commission’s goal would be to create a 10-year map that earns majority approval from the commission and approval from at least two minority party members.

If the Redistricting Commission fails to approve a map that meets that requirements, the General Assembly will approve a temporary four year map. The four-year map cannot favor or disfavor a certain political party and best efforts will be made to draw districts that are compact and that will keep whole counties, then townships, and then municipal corporations.

Having passed both legislative chambers, Senate Joint Resolution 5 now heads to the Secretary of State’s office to be filed as a ballot initiative.

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