Columbus – With unanimous, bipartisan support, the Ohio Senate today passed a plan to reform the process for drawing Ohio’s congressional districts. The passage of Substitute Senate Joint Resolution 5 follows weeks of negotiations between the leadership of both parties in the General Assembly and various redistricting reform coalitions.

“This plan establishes a responsible map making process that requires bipartisan support and keeps communities together,” said Senate President Larry Obhof (R-Medina).

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.”

Sub. S.J.R. 5 now moves to the Ohio House for consideration. Once passed by the General Assembly, Sub. S.J.R. 5 will go to the May ballot for Ohio voters to approve.
# # #

Featured Posts

Obhof Announces 2019 Legislative Fellowship Program


COLUMBUS—Ohio Senate President Larry Obhof (R-Medina) today announced that the Ohio Legislative Service Commission (LSC) is accepting applications through April 1, 2018 for the 2019 Legislative and Telecommunications Fellowship Program. The Commission will hire 24 fellows to serve in the Ohio General Assembly for the 2019 calendar year.


Obhof Signs Historic Congressional Redistricting Plan


COLUMBUS—Ohio Senate President Larry Obhof (R-Medina) yesterday signed a resolution which will reform the process for drawing Ohio's congressional districts. After months of public input and weeks of negotiations between leaders from both parties, Senate Joint Resolution 5 passed the Ohio Senate this week with a unanimous, bipartisan vote. It also passed the Ohio House with strong support and now goes to the May ballot for Ohio voters to approve. Obhof co-sponsored the resolution and was one of the lead negotiators for the eventual compromise.


PHOTO: Obhof Honors Brunswick Family For Winning National Educational Choice Video Contest


COLUMBUS—Ohio Senate President Larry Obhof (R-Medina) recently recognized the Fife family from Brunswick on the Senate floor for winning the nationwide Choices in Education National Video Contest sponsored in part by The Foundation for Excellence in Education.


Obhof Signs Historic Congressional Redistricting Reform Plan


"This plan establishes a responsible map-making process that requires bipartisan support and keeps communities together," said Obhof. "I want to thank my colleagues on both sides of the aisle for coming together to get this done."