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Government/Politics

Coalition Endorses 'Unity' Maps Submitted To Ohio Redistricting Commission

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The group says the "unity" map reflects the political makeup of Ohio.

A coalition of community groups are touting a map with newly drawn district lines for state lawmakers.

The citizen-led redistricting advocacy group, Ohio Citizens' Redistricting Commission, used input from more than 2,000 drafts to put out its rendering of new Ohio House and Ohio Senate districts.

Desiree Tims is a member of the Equal Districts Coalition, which includes nearly 30 groups such as Equality Ohio and the Ohio Education Association. Her coalition endorses the OCRC maps and says they hope the maps get consideration.

"Ohioans know their communities best. So the most accurate district map will be drawn from input from real Ohioans," Tims says.

The OCRC notes that the districts reflect how Ohio has split in recent statewide elections; about 54% Republican and 46% Democrat.

Of the 99 House districts drawn in their map, the OCRC has 55 districts that lean in a Republican candidate's favor and 44 districts that could lean for Democrats. In the Senate map proposal, 19 likely Republican seats and 14 likely Democrat seats.

A constitutional amendment approved in 2015 requires at least two votes from each party within the Ohio Redistricting Commission. Republicans hold the majority on the commission this year. If the Ohio Redistricting Commission's maps do not get bipartisan support, the group can approve maps that last four years.