Republican Auditor joins Democrats calling for Ohio Redistricting Commission to meet
State Auditor Keith Faber, a Republican, is joining the Democratic members of the Ohio Redistricting Commission in calling for the commission to reconvene as soon as possible.
Faber said the commission must meet, either in-person or virtually, in order to meet the May 6 deadline set by the Ohio Supreme Court.
"Scheduling a meeting has proven to be a challenge over the past week, with a member of the commission sidelined with COVID and others preparing for the May 3rd primary. But, the commission has shown the ability to conduct our meetings remotely and I encourage this option be afforded for each meeting moving forward to increase availability and participation," said Faber, in a letter to the other commissioners.
Earlier this year, Faber proposed an adopted rule change which said a new commission meeting could be called by a collection of any three commission members.
The rules state that the co-chairs have 24 hours to schedule a meeting and provide notice of when that meeting will take place.
Faber is also proposing the commission ask the state attorney general to request the May 6 deadline be extended to May 13.
On Monday, Democratic members of the Ohio Redistricting Commission attempted to hold a meeting in the Ohio Statehouse but did not yet have the backing of one other commissioner.
House Minority Leader Allison Russo (D-Upper Arlington) and Sen. Vernon Sykes (D-Akron) have also been calling for the commission to reconvene in order to meet the Ohio Supreme Court deadline of creating new state legislative district maps by May 6.
Sykes is a co-chair but he would need the other co-chair, House Speaker Bob Cupp (R-Lima), to join him in calling for a meeting. Cupp's office said they will keep everyone updated when a meeting is scheduled, but did not add any further details.
If the commission does not adopt new maps that are deemed constitutional by the Ohio Supreme Court by May 28, a federal court will implement Republican-drawn maps already invalidated by the state supreme court. Five of the seven commissioners are Republicans.
Early voting is under way for Ohio's May 3 primary with statewide, congressional, and local races on the ballot. Without constitutional maps, state legislative races were removed from the ballots. A second primary on a yet-to-be-determined date will need to take place for those races.
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