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Ohio Redistricting Commission stumbles at first meeting

Ohio Statehouse
Dr Bob Hall
Ohio Statehouse

Ohio's redistricting process restarted this week, but it was a false start. On this week's episode of Snollygoster, Ohio's politics podcast from WOSU, host Mike Thompson discusses the ongoing distract map drama with Karen Kasler, Ohio Public Radio Statehouse Bureau Chief.

An Inauspicious Start?

In yet another odd turn in this roughly two-year saga, the Ohio Redistricting Commission met this week to consider redrawing state legislative maps that have been ruled unconstitutional repeatedly.

They met and then adjourned. It seems that the five Republicans on the seven-member panel could not decide who should serve as co-chair for them. Democrats say they were ready to name a co-chair, but wanted Republicans to go first. So they delayed the organizational meeting until Friday.

When they figure out who will sit in which of the seven chairs, they will draw new maps for the state senate and state house of representatives that voters will use in next year's election.

Snollygoster of the week

Whoever collected digital petition signatures and letters supporting fracking under state parks had some unusual methods.

The Cleveland Plain Dealer and Cleveland.com broke the story, finding that 35 people had their names sent to the Ohio and Gas Land Management Commission in support of "responsible drilling" under state parks, without their knowledge or consent. Many of these people oppose fracking, including a 9-year-old girl and a blind woman who does not use a computer.

The letters were collected and submitted by the Consumer Energy Alliance, which claims that it did not use names without permission. Attorney General Dave Yost is investigating.

We don't know what happened, but whether it was a hacker, artificial intelligence, or a shrewd fan of fracking under state parks, the effort is worthy of our Snollygoster of the Week award.

If you have a suggestion for our "Snollygoster of the Week" award, a question or a comment, send them to snollygoster@wosu.org.