Despite winning more votes in Ohio’s congressional races last week, Democrats are walking away with fewer seats in the U.S. House than Republicans, thanks to heavily gerrymandered district maps that gave them 75 percent of the seats after winning just 52 percent of the votes.
Similarly, Republicans walked away with more statehouse seats despite Democrats collecting more total votes.
It's a takeaway from Election 2018 that isn't the usual headline grabber. More importantly, in terms of controlling Ohio's government, the GOP won 72 of the 116 Statehouse races.
But the Republicans scored their wins for 62 percent of the seats while collecting just under 50 percent of the total vote.
This is a lot like what happened in Ohio's 16 congressional districts, where Republicans won 75 percent of the seats with just 52 percent of the overall vote.
But there is good news out of Ohio, too: Voters decided they will no longer tolerate such heavily gerrymandered district maps, and those used in both state and congressional elections will change going forward.
Rather than the party in control drawing the maps, voters are insisting that legislative redistricting be a bipartisan effort.
Ohioans [in 2015 voted to reform the way Statehouse districts](https://ballotpedia.org/Ohio_Bipartisan_Redistricting_Commission_Amendment,Issue_1(2015%29) will be drawn, beginning in 2021. Then, earlier this year, Ohio voters did the same for congressional districts going forward. The votes for change were not close, passing each time with more than 70 percent support.
The separate reforms carry their own set of rules, but the gist is the same - a new set of 10-year maps cannot be approved without buy-in from both major political parties.
"The problem with gerrymandering is so straight forward and clear cut if you just look at the numbers" from the election returns, said Catherine Turcer, one of the advocates for change as the executive director of Common Cause Ohio.
"I'm so pleased that the voters of Ohio have taken the step to rein in the problem. We deserve to be in control of the elections."