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Politics & Government

A timeline of Ohio's redistricting saga

 Ohio Redistricting Saga Timeline
Andy Chow
/
Statehouse News Bureau
Ohio Redistricting Saga Timeline

An Ohio redistricting process that began in August 2021 to draw new state legislative district maps has seen many twists and turns that eventually entangled all three branches of government.

The process to draw Ohio's 99 House seats and 33 Senate seats, was overhauled by a constitutional amendment approved by voters in 2015.

Follow: Scroll through the timeline detailing the Ohio Redistricting Saga

August 6, 2021: Ohio Redistricting Commission convenes

The seven-member panel holds its first meeting to begin Ohio's new redistricting process, which was approved by voters in 2015.

August 23, 2021 — September 14, 2021: Commission holds regional meetings

The Ohio Redistricting Commission held hearings in 11 different cities for public testimony.

September 16, 2021: Ohio Redistricting Commission adopts first set of maps

The commission voted 5-2, with only Republican support, for the plan at 12:02 a.m. -- two minutes after the constitutional deadline. The first proposal for new Ohio House and Ohio Senate district maps retained a Republican supermajority in both chambers.

January 12, 2022: Ohio Supreme Court invalidates the first set of maps

The court, in a 4-3 decision, ruled the maps were unconstitutionally gerrymandered. Chief Justice Maureen O'Connor, a Republican, joined the three Democratic justices in striking down the maps. The ruling stated the commission must draw new maps to proportionally reflect Ohio's voters.

January 22, 2022: Ohio Redistricting Commission adopts a second set of maps

The commission adopted the maps with a 5-2 vote, along party lines. The maps had 57 Republican House seats, 42 Democratic House seats, 20 Republican Senate seats, and 13 Democratic Senate seats.

February 7, 2022: Ohio Supreme Court invalidates second set of maps

The court, in a 4-3 decision, ruled the maps were unconstitutionally gerrymandered. The ruling restated the commission must draw new maps to proportionally reflect Ohio's voters and achieve symmetrical competitive districts.

February 17, 2022: Ohio Redistricting Commission fails to meet deadline

The redistricting commission did not adopt new maps by the deadline set by the Ohio Supreme Court. The next day, Chief Justice Maureen O'Connor issued a motion for commissioners to explain why they should not be held in contempt. That was dropped when the commission showed signs of adopting a new map. Republican justices added that they did not think the court had the authority to hold the commission in contempt.

February 18, 2022: Republicans voters go to federal court

A group of Republican voters filed a motion in federal court asking for intervention due to an "impasse" among state redistricting officials. The plaintiffs asked the court to install a previous set of maps, already rejected by the supreme court.

February 24, 2022: Ohio Redistricting Commission adopts a third set of maps

The commission adopted the maps with a 4-3 vote. The maps reflected proportionality but critics said the disproportional amount of Democratic competitive districts still gave the GOP an advantage.

March 16, 2022: Ohio Supreme Court invalidates the third set of maps

In a 4-3 decision, the court rejected the maps stating the plan created assymetrical competitive districts.

March 18, 2022: A federal court appoints a three-judge panel

A stay on the lawsuit filed by Republican voters was lifted after the supreme court invalidated the third set of maps. Once the stay was lifted, three judges were appointed to hear the case: Judge Amul R. Thapar, Judge Benjamin J. Beaton, Judge Algenon L. Marbley. Thapar and Beaton were appointed to the court by former President Donald Trump. Marbley was appointed by former President Bill Clinton.

March 23, 2022 - Ohio House, Ohio Senate races were removed from the may 3 primary ballot

Without constitutional maps in place, Secretary of State Frank LaRose ordered local boards of elections to remove state legislative races from every primary ballot.

March 28, 2022: Ohio Redistricting Commission adopts the fourth set of maps

The commission hired mapmakers who were independent of either legislative caucus and worked directly for all the commissioners. A live stream camera was set up for the public to watch the drafting process. With hours before the court-ordered deadline, Republican commissioners opted for a map drawn by GOP caucus staff. The maps are slightly modified versions of the third set of maps.

April 14, 2022: Ohio Supreme Court invalidates the fourth set of maps

The court, in a 4-3 decision, gives the commission until May 6 to adopt a new set of maps.

April 20, 2022: Federal court sets deadline for intervention

The federal court, in a 2-1 decision, ruled that it would implement the invalidated third set of state legislative district maps if state officials could not create constitutional maps by May 28.

May 5, 2022: Ohio Redistricting Commission resubmits rejected maps

Advocates interrupted the commission meeting after members failed to meet the supreme court's deadline to adopt a new set of state legislative district maps. Instead, the commission resubmitted the third plan, Map 3, which has already been invalidated by the court.

Copyright 2022 The Statehouse News Bureau