From staff and wire reports

COLUMBUS: A proposed constitutional amendment that would change the way Ohio draws congressional districts has cleared another hurdle on its way to the state ballot.

The Ohio Ballot Board certified the measure on Tuesday as a single issue. The decision clears backers to begin collecting the 305,591 signatures — 10 percent of the total vote cast for governor in 2014 — needed to place the issue before Ohio voters.

As part of the total number of signatures needed to place the measure on the ballot, petitioners must also have collected signatures from at least 44 of Ohio’s 88 counties, and within each of those counties, collect enough signatures equal to five percent of the total vote cast for governor in the most recent gubernatorial election, 2014.

Fair Congressional Districts for Ohio modeled the proposal after a plan overwhelmingly approved by Ohio voters in 2015. That earlier plan changed the map-making process for the districts of lawmakers in the Ohio House and Ohio Senate. Congressional members serve in the U.S. House and U.S. Senate.

Proponents of redistricting changes want to stop lawmakers from creating congressional districts that are overwhelmingly packed with Republicans or Democrats.

Nowhere in Ohio is gerrymandering more noticeable than in Akron. Congressional districts in Summit County divide the city’s residents. Akronites share the 11th U.S. House district with Clevelanders and the 13th with Youngstown residents. Democrats control each seat. Republicans control the other two seats, which stretch from Stow to Lake Erie and Norton to the southwestern tip of Wayne County.

The Ohio Ballot Board is overseen by Secretary Jon Husted and includes state Sens. Jay Hottinger, R-Newark and Michael Skindell, D-Lakewood; state Rep. Kathleen Clyde, D-Kent; and William Morgan, who was appointed to the board by majority House Republicans.