Responsibility to redistrict the state of Ohio shifts to legislature

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Ohio lawmakers have proposed new maps for Ohio’s congressional districts, dropping one district due to population changes seen in the 2020 census. Credit: Tom Hanks | Lantern Reporter

Ohio lawmakers have proposed new maps for Ohio’s congressional districts, dropping one district due to population changes seen in the 2020 census.

The Ohio Redistricting Commission –– which was tasked with creating a 10-year map –– missed an Oct. 31 deadline, shifting redistricting responsibilities to the Ohio Legislature. The legislature has until Nov. 30 to create maps, while litigation surrounding the new maps is slated to begin at the beginning of December.

The first two maps were unveiled by House and Senate Republicans Nov. 3.

House Democrats then unveiled maps Thursday, proposing one version in which nine seats are Republican-leaning, four are Democrat-leaning and two are “highly competitive,” meaning either party could claim them, according to FiveThirtyEight .

The Senate Democrats’ plan, unveiled in September, proposed four Democrat-leaning seats, eight Republican-leaning seats and three “highly competitive seats,” according to FiveThirtyEight .

According to FiveThirtyEight , under the Senate Republicans’ proposal in September, the University District would be represented by Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, who represents the 4th Congressional District currently consisting of Auglaize, Champaign, Crawford, Logan, Sandusky, Seneca, Shelby and Union counties.

The House Republicans’ proposed map splits Franklin County into three separate districts.

In a statement Friday, Rep. Richard Brown, D-Ohio, said voters were angered by the proposed Republican maps.

“Voters are dismayed by the brazen partisanship of the Republican maps released this week, which intentionally and unduly favor Republican candidates 13-2. That’s textbook gerrymandering,” Brown said. “Democrats listened to the voters, incorporated their feedback and are introducing a realistic proposal that keeps our largest counties together, ensures communities that live, work and play together stay together, and better reflects the preferences of Ohio voters.”

During a press conference Thursday, Gov. Mike DeWine said he feels the current map drawings are starting points for discussion, rather than a permanent solution.

“I’ve looked at the two maps from the Democratic and the Republican side, and I think it’s pretty clear these maps aren’t going to fly,” DeWine said.

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