Key State Leader Wants Changes In Redistricting Process
The president of the Ohio Senate says since census information is coming in late this year, it is impossible to draw new maps based on the dates in the process approved by voters back in 2015 and 2018. So, he’s proposing a different idea.
Republican Senate President Matt Huffman (R-Lima) says the voter-approved process doesn’t have a contingency plan. And he says map drawing experts tell him the process won’t work under the new timelines.
“So it’s, I think, an impossibility based on the best information I have," Huffman says.
Huffman wants voters to approve a constitutional amendment in August that allows lawmakers to change deadlines when data is delayed. Huffman says lawmakers would need to approve the amendment so it could be put before voters by May 5 - in a little over a week - to qualify for the August election.
Senate Minority Leader Kenny Yuko (D-Richmond Heights) said in a statement:
“Ohioans overwhelmingly approved two redistricting reforms in recent years to end gerrymandering. We must respect and fulfill their wishes. As presented to us, the proposed amendment does not guarantee that people’s voices will be heard and does not ensure that the redistricting process will be fair, open and transparent."
The statement continues: "For years, Ohio’s congressional and state legislative districts have not represented the diversity of our state. It is imperative that we work together and deliver on the people’s goal of ending gerrymandering. It’s time to draw maps that truly reflect the will of Ohioans.”
Other Democrats and groups instrumental in getting the new process approved say they’re waiting for details and want to see how other states will handle redistricting.