Legislative Watch – September 3, 2021

Redistricting Commission Blows by First Deadline for District Maps

The Ohio Redistricting Commission, the body tasked with drawing new district lines for the state legislature, has missed its first deadline to produce maps. Under an amendment to the Ohio Constitution passed in 2015, the Commission had until September 1 to vote on an initial map and then hold public hearings on it. At this point, no map has been voted on nor have any further public hearings been scheduled. The Commission then has until September 15 to vote on a final map.

Redistricting reform passed with support of over 70% of Ohio voters to bring about fairer maps, rather than ones drawn specifically to favor one party over another through gerrymandering. Last month the Commission held 10 public hearings where citizens testified with a strong message of calling for an open and bipartisan process that lives up to the letter and spirit of the Constitutional amendment. Several OEA members provided testimony including OEA President Scott DiMauro and Vice President Jeff Wensing. Click here and here to read their testimony.

The Redistricting Commission is comprised of seven members: Governor Mike DeWine (R), Secretary of State Frank LaRose (R), Auditor Keith Faber (R), Speaker of the House Bob Cupp (R), House Minority Leader Emilia Sykes (D), Senate President Matt Huffman (R), and Senator Vernon Sykes (D). In order for a map to take effect for 10 years, it would take a majority vote of the Commission with both of the Democrats voting for it. A simple majority of members can pass a map, but it would only be in effect for four years.

For past Legislative Watch releases, visit the primary Legislative Watch page.