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Ohio Redistricting Commission Misses Constitutional Deadline

Ohio Redistricting Commission meets to discuss the rules for creating new state legislative maps.

Advocates for fair districts say redistricting leaders should remain focused on the goal.

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

Leaders say the delay of census data set them back, preventing them from approving a map before the September 1 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," says Miller.

Secretary of State Frank LaRose (R-Ohio) says, 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 curve ball. We were given an inexplicable delay by the U.S. Census Bureau. That has put us in a very untenable situation," says LaRose. "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, says the redistricting commission should be the entity drawing maps. However, House Speaker Bob Cupp (R-Lima), says 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.

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