With Deadline Looming, Ohio Redistricting Commission Sets First Meeting To Redraw Maps
The first meeting of the panel that has been ordered to again draw maps for Ohio House and Senate districts is set for Tuesday morning, with a deadline to produce those maps less than a week away.
The announcement of the Tuesday meeting of the Ohio Redistricting Commission was the first communication about the commission since the Ohio Supreme Court ruled the latest Ohio House and Senate maps were unconstitutional.
The announcement came from the offices of House Speaker Bob Cupp (R-Lima) and Senate President Matt Huffman (R-Lima). And it has an important note, saying "individual commission members will have access to other commission members’ relevant staff and contractors."
Note: “Consistent with the court’s ruling, individual commission members will have access to other commission members’ relevant staff and contractors. Additionally, the Ohio Redistricting Commission website – https://t.co/5et3iIoa29 – will be available soon for public comment.”— Karen Kasler (@karenkasler) January 16, 2022
That’s important because the commission’s two Democrats said they were shut out of the process that resulted in the maps being approved in September. Republican Gov. Mike DeWine, Republican Auditor Keith Faber, and Republican Secretary of State Frank LaRose testified in the lawsuit over the maps that they had “no involvement” in creating them, though they voted for them.
The composition of the Ohio Redistricting Commission has changed slightly. House Minority Leader Emilia Sykes has stepped down from that position, and newly elected Leader Allison Russo will now serve on the panel.
The announcement notes the meeting on Tuesday, January 18 starts at 10 a.m. in Room 313 in the Statehouse. There's also a website that will be accepting public comment.
The Ohio Supreme Court says the new maps must be produced by Monday, January 24. It's unclear what might happen if that deadline is missed. The commission did miss a deadline early in the process, and some deadlines were missed in the Congressional map drawing process.
The court ruled Friday that the Congressional map is also unconstitutional and will need to be redone.
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