Ginter among those voting to reform congressional map drawing

LISBON — State Rep. Tim Ginter (R-Salem) was among legislators who voted for a compromise bill that seeks to determine how Ohio’s congressional districts will be redrawn in the future.

Congressional districts must be redrawn every 10 years following the latest U.S. Census, and there are currently 16 congressional seats in Ohio.

The bill calls for a constitutional amendment to be placed before voters in the May 8 primary election which, if passed, will require a new congressional map be drawn that requires 60 percent approval by both the House and Senate, including at least 50 percent support from the minority party.

If the legislature fails to agree on a plan, the job is turned over to a bipartisan commission created when voters approved a 2015 ballot initiative that was supposed to resolve the issue. If that does not work, the majority party could adopt a four-year map, with work continuing on a new map covering the remaining six years.

“This legislation is long overdue in Ohio. I am proud of the bipartisan contributions from the House and Senate in drafting and voting on this fair and necessary legislation,” Ginter said in a news release.

The constitutional amendment will establish the ground rules for what future redistricting plans would look like. The proposal is expected to reduce the number of counties split between multiple congressional districts to about one-fourth of Ohio’s 88 counties.

Columbiana County’s 6th District stretches more than 300 miles, from southern Mahoning County to Meigs County. It encompasses 13 counties and portions of five others.