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Ohio Redistricting Commission Misses Constitutional Deadline


The Ohio Redistricting Commission missed the Wednesday deadline created through a constitutional amendment to pass the first round of state legislative maps.

Commission leaders said the delay of census data set them back, preventing them from approving a map before the deadline created by voters in 2015.

Jen Miller, executive director for the League of Women Voters of Ohio, is questioning exactly how these maps will be drawn before they're presented to the commission.

"Deadlines matter. What matters more is a solid process that results in maps that serve the people," Miller said.

Ohio Secretary of State Frank LaRose, a Republican said, despite missing the deadline, the commission needs to stick to the mission and execute what the voters approved of in the 2015 ballot issue.

"We were thrown a curveball. We were given an inexplicable delay by the U.S. Census Bureau. That has put us in a very untenable situation," LaRose said. "And if we had gotten the census bureau in the spring, when we should have, yeah, we would have been well into this process of compromise and finding the consensus between the two sides to get that done."

Republican and Democratic lawmakers have been behind closed doors creating their own maps.

House Minority Leader Emilia Sykes (D-Akron), a member of the commission, said the redistricting commission should be the entity drawing maps. However, House Speaker Bob Cupp (R-Lima), said the commission will accept pre-made maps presented to the group, then the commission members will have a chance to amend whatever proposal they choose.

Copyright 2021 The Statehouse News Bureau. To see more, visit The Statehouse News Bureau.

Andy Chow is a general assignment state government reporter who focuses on environmental, energy, agriculture, and education-related issues. He started his journalism career as an associate producer with ABC 6/FOX 28 in Columbus before becoming a producer with WBNS 10TV.