Redistricting initiative underway


Thomas Flynn of St. Clairsville collects petition signatures in front of the Belmont County Courthouse on behalf of the Fair District = Fair Elections Coalition. The goal is to amend the Ohio Constitution to transfer responsibility for redrawing congressional district lines to the bipartisan Ohio Redistricting Commission. Currently, the state legislature is responsible for drawing congressional districts and bipartisan approval is not required. Flynn said the members of the coalition must collect signatures equal to 5 percent of the number of voters who voted in the last gubernatorial election. In Belmont County, he said that would be 900 individuals. Should the amendment be successful, it would take effect following the 2020 census and the new congressional district boundaries would enter into effect in 2022.