Ohio Redistricting Commission adds two mediators to help create new legislative maps
The Ohio Redistricting Commission will include two mediators from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit to help settle disputes as Republican and Democratic mapmakers try to create new district maps for the state House and Senate.
The commission voted unanimously to approve the two mediators, Catherine C. Geyer and Scott Coburn.
They join a mapmaking team that already includes two experts with the Republican legislative caucus, two experts with the Democratic legislative caucus and two outside consultants.
Gov. Mike DeWine (R-Ohio) said the commission hopes the mediators can be neutral players that can bring all the sides together.
"I don't think anyone knows whether we're going to be successful in this, we're certainly going to try to be successful, we're doing something different that we have not done in the past. By doing that I think we're certainly moving forward but in the next couple of days we're going start to see whether this gels or if it does not gel," DeWine said.
This is will be the commission's fourth attempt at adopting a map after the first three were found unconstitutional by the Ohio Supreme Court.
The commission decided Monday to bring in Douglas Johnson and Michael McDonald as the outside consultants. Johnson and McDonald are expected to appear before the commission on Wednesday and to fill out a conflicts disclosure form.
Mapmakers are directed to follow the state constitution's requirements on redistricting and the court's three previous orders on state legislative district maps.
The commission has until March 28 to adopt a new set of maps for the Ohio House and Ohio Senate. Meanwhile, the Democratic members of the commission have filed a motion asking the Ohio Supreme Court to delay the May 3 primary.
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