New congressional map in Ohio will make this state more Democrat

Story highlights Ohio will get new congressional district boundaries. Here’s how.

New district maps go into effect in 2021 and will include a 13th and 14th district in Cincinnati.

Ohio Gov. John Kasich signed a bill that brings new district boundaries into place.

As the president often says, “A win is a win.” And John Kasich, the governor of Ohio, is apparently ready to claim his place as the victor for Ohio, having signed into law a bill that delivers redistricting reform for the Buckeye State.

For those not aware, Ohio has numerous congressional districts — two in each of the two chambers, as well as seven in the state’s U.S. House of Representatives delegation. There are red and blue congressional districts, as well as 20 districts where the district is entirely white.

Those old district lines were drawn back in 2011, during the tenure of former Ohio Gov. Ted Strickland. Though Kasich hasn’t yet proven to be a leader in the push for redistricting reform, this is another big win for Kasich, as there was push to replace the state’s constitution with a new one that would replace current district lines.

What did that reform look like? One idea was to shift from an “Ohio plus” approach to the one-person-one-vote method. That could have resulted in an 11-person congressional delegation and five new congressional districts in Ohio.

What’s the fate of a new constitution? The legislature, largely controlled by Kasich’s opponent (Ohio State Treasurer Josh Mandel), opted not to place a constitutional amendment on the November ballot, so Ohioans are stuck with the current setup of state lines.

This issue was important for Ohio voters — who defied the odds by swinging in favor of President Donald Trump by seven percentage points in 2016.

What changed? On Saturday, Kasich signed the American State House of Representatives redrawing the state’s congressional map into law. Voters had put this matter on the November ballot in a bipartisan vote that gained nearly 60% of the vote. When the final state maps were selected, 42 of the Ohio’s districts were still gerrymandered by GOP lawmakers. It’s been a 48-50-3 split since 1956, which is also the last time Ohio cut and pasted congressional districts. That’s a big change from the four-decade even track record.

This new map adds four new congressional districts for Ohio in two parts. One will border Kentucky and the other will border West Virginia. Additionally, there is now a new “minority-majority district” of seven seats in Cincinnati, which previously had just one seat. Under the new boundaries, Democrats now have an eight-seat advantage in the state.

An extra new 13th congressional district was added to the state’s Congressional delegation. That district would be the 11th district in Ohio, but is also divided into two parts. If you take the northern two halves of the new district and divide them into three districts, this creates a 13th district. This district is for the Hamilton County area north of Cincinnati.

In addition to this new congressional district map, the maps were altered for Ohio’s lieutenant governor and attorney general. That means even more new districts. If that goes unchallenged, Ohio’s district lines will change again in 2021.

You can read the full text of this map here, where you can also find your congressional district. Or, you can view the 2011 maps here, where you can check out the three total districts of Ohio and read about each.

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