May 9, 2018

Ohio voters approve ballot measure to curtail gerrymandering

Voters casting their ballots at a polling place in Carrollton, Ohio. Photo: Mario Tama/Getty Images

Ohio voters approved a redistricting reform ballot measure Tuesday that will change how congressional districts are drawn, a move advocates say would curb excessive partisan gerrymandering.

The details: The new process, which had overwhelming bipartisan support, will go into effect in 2021 when the next round of redistricting takes place. While it still puts redistricting in the hands of lawmakers, the measure would prevent one party from having overwhelming power over the redrawing and approval of electoral lines. Ohio is said to be one of the most pro-Republican-gerrymandered states in the country.

How it works: When the legislature draws new maps to align with 2020 U.S. Census figures, it will now need three-fifths support from each chamber and at least one-third from the minority party.

  • If lawmakers fail to approve a plan, the bipartisan Ohio Redistricting Commission would take over the process and create either a 10-year map with minority consent or a four-year map without.

The backdrop: This comes as some states are locked in major redistricting battles over extreme partisan gerrymandered maps, and grassroots campaigns in others to limit political redistricting. The U.S. Supreme Court is expected to decide two cases by June that could, for the first time, impose constitutional limits on gerrymandering.

Go deeper

Tariff worries hit record high amid coronavirus outbreak

Data: CivicScience, margin of error ±1 percentage points; Chart: Axios Visuals

Concern about President Trump's tariffs on U.S imports grew to record high levels among Americans last month, particularly as more lost their jobs and concern about the novel coronavirus increased.

Driving the news: About seven in 10 people said they were at least somewhat concerned about tariffs in March, according to the latest survey from CivicScience provided first to Axios.

U.S. coronavirus updates: Largest 24-hour spike in fatalities

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins; Map: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios

New York's death toll from the novel coronavirus surged to its highest one-day total on Tuesday, as the U.S. saw its largest 24-hour spike in fatalities, per Johns Hopkins data. Recorded deaths across the U.S. surpassed 12,900 early Wednesday.

Why it matters: State officials have stressed that lockdowns must continue even if cities begin to see slight improvements from social distancing. Several hot spots, including New York, New Orleans, and Detroit, are expected to peak in the coming days.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 2 hours ago - Health

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 12:30 a.m. ET: 1,430,453 — Total deaths: 82,133 — Total recoveries: 301,385Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 12:30 a.m. ET: 399,081 — Total deaths: 12,907 — Total recoveries: 22,461Map.
  3. Federal government latest: Acting Navy secretary resigns over handling of virus-infected ship — Trump removes watchdog overseeing rollout of $2 trillion coronavirus bill — Trump said he "didn't see" memos from his trade adviser Peter Navarro warning that the crisis could kill more than half a million Americans.
  4. States latest: California Gov. Gavin Newsom is confident that more than 200 million masks will be delivered to the state "at a monthly basis starting in the next few weeks."
  5. Business latest: America's food heroes in times of the coronavirus crisis. Even when the economy comes back to life, huge questions for airlines will remain.
  6. World updates: China reopens Wuhan after 10-week coronavirus lockdown.
  7. 2020 latest: Polls for Wisconsin's primary elections closed at 9 p.m. ET Tuesday, but results won't be released until April 13. Thousands of residents cast ballots in person.
  8. 1 Olympics thing: About 6,500 athletes who qualified for the Tokyo Games will keep their spots in 2021.
  9. What should I do? Pets, moving and personal healthAnswers about the virus from Axios expertsWhat to know about social distancingQ&A: Minimizing your coronavirus risk.
  10. Other resources: CDC on how to avoid the virus, what to do if you get it.

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