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Beginning Of Redistricting Commission Puts Reforms In Motion

Ohio Statehouse
Statehouse News Bureau

Voters approved changes to the mapmaking process through statewide ballot issues in 2015 and 2018.

The Ohio Redistricting Commission is going to hold its first meeting tomorrow, a major step towards implementing new state and congressional district maps.

The new redistricting process includes requirements for public hearings and public participation.

Jen Miller, League of Women Voters of Ohio executive director, says that's a critical piece to keeping the new district-making process accountable.

"This is the chance for the public to be engaging, making sure that mapmakers are upholding the letter and spirit of those ballot initiatives," says Miller.

The redistricting commission includes the governor, state auditor, secretary of state, a Senator from both parties and a Representative from both parties.

Representing the Republican caucuses will be Senate President Matt Huffman (R-Lima) and House Speaker Bob Cupp (R-Lima). As for the Democratic caucuses, it'll be House Leader Emilia Sykes (D-Akron) and Senator Vernon Sykes (D-Akron).

Huffman and Vernon Sykes helped bring the reform across the finish line in the legislature six years ago.

The commission has to approve a map of new legislative districts by mid-September. If a final agreement can't be reached, the commission will issue maps that will have to be redrawn after four years. The Ohio General Assembly must approve a map of congressional districts by September 30.

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