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Government/Politics

Speaker Doubts Legislature Will Meet Deadline For New Ohio Congressional Map

Ohio's Congressional district map, separated so the outlines of each district can be clearly seen. Former Rep. Mike Curtin (D-Columbus) created the map as an opponent of it.
Karen Kasler
/
Statehouse News Bureau
Ohio's current congressional map, with its 16 districts separated so the outlines of each district can be clearly seen. Former Rep. Mike Curtin (D-Columbus) created the map as an opponent of it.

State lawmakers have a constitutional deadline of September 30 to approve a new congressional district map.

Time is running out for the Ohio House and Senate to approve a new congressional map by the end of the month. If the legislature cannot meet the deadline, then the Ohio Redistricting Commission will have a shot.

That Republican-dominated panel just approved maps that have been denounced as gerrymandered toward the GOP.

Ohio’s 16 Congressional districts will go down to 15 in the new map. State lawmakers must approve that congressional district map by a three-fifths majority, and with one-third of the Democratic vote.

House Speaker Bob Cupp (R-Lima) doubts they can reach an agreement by the September 30 deadline.

"I think it would be extremely unlikely that we could. The map drawing process, just the technical aspects of trying to comply with the Constitution isn't something that can be done in an hour or a couple of days," says Cupp. "It really requires a lot of attention to detail and to not cross political subdivision lines. And the constitutional requirements are much more strict than they were 10 years ago. So I just don't see how that is possible to do."

The Ohio Redistricting Commission, which just approved state legislative maps that retain a Republican supermajority, would have the next shot at congressional maps. The commission would have until the end of October.