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Redistricting commission holds one hearing before looming deadline

Bob Cupp Vernon Sykes closeup redistricting gaggle
Andy Chow
Statehouse News Bureau
House Speaker Bob Cupp (R-Lima) and Sen. Vernon Sykes (D-Akron), both co-chairs of the Ohio Redistricting Commission, discuss the next steps for the commission.

The task of drawing a new Congressional district map will go back to the Ohio House and Ohio Senate.

The Ohio Redistricting Commission held a hearing on public proposals for a new Congressional district map. But that's about all the commission will do since the deadline for the panel to approve a new map will pass.

Several people lined up to present their proposed Congressional district maps to the Ohio Redistricting Commission, explaining why they think their plan best follows the constitutional requirements.

That includes Catherine Turcer, with the progressive-leaning group Common Cause Ohio, who says the reforms passed by voters in 2018 create guardrails to help ensure fair districts.

"As long as the state legislators actually respect that, and they might not. It is up to all of us voters to encourage them to follow the Constitution," says Turcer.

Sen. Vernon Sykes (D-Akron) says he hopes the legislature will listen to more expert opinion on mapmaking before reaching a bipartisan agreement.

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