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Columbus Moves Closer To Overhauling City Council Elections

Columbus City Hall
Columbus City Hall

Columbus City Council received more than 100 applications to serve on the Council Residential Districting Commission, which will be tasked with drawing residency maps for Council to use during the 2023 elections.

In 2018, Columbus residents passed a city charter reform measure that will eventually add two new City Council seats and established residential districts for each seat. Under the districting plan, however, all members will be selected by voters city-wide.

The districting commission will consist of five members – four will be appointed by Council, and the fifth member will be selected by the mayor and council president. That last member will also serve as the chair of the commission.

The first round of applications closed January 21, and 123 people applied. A shortlist of candidates will be chosen to enter the next phase of applications by February 5.

At a public hearing February 10, candidates will be able to give three-minute remarks regarding their desire to sit on the commission.

Commission members will be selected by March 1. Any recommendations the commission makes must be voted on by Columbus City Council. However, Council only has the authority to make changes to the maps if they do not comply with the city charter.

Adora Namigadde was a reporter for 89.7 NPR News. She joined WOSU News in February 2017. A Michigan native, she graduated from Wayne State University with a B.A. in Broadcast Journalism and a minor in French.