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Ballot Board to Move on Ohio Redistricting Plan

The wording of a fall ballot issue revamping the way Ohio draws legislative and congressional districts is nearing final approval by a state panel.

The Ohio Ballot Board scheduled a Wednesday meeting to certify language for the proposed constitutional amendment.  It would strip elected officials of map-drawing powers and give them to a 12-person citizen commission.

A coalition of voter advocacy groups called Voters First is spearheading the effort.  Backers say the current setup lets the ruling party draw district lines to its favor.

Opponents, including the Ohio Republican Party and Secretary of State Jon Husted, argue proposed changes are convoluted and untested.

The state bar association objects on grounds that a new role given to a panel of judges could present participating jurists with a conflict of interest.