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With deadline looming, Ohio Redistricting Commission sets first meeting to redraw legislative maps

The Ohio Redistricting Commission, in its meeting on October 26, 2021. From left to right: Senate President Matt Huffman (R-Lima), Auditor Keith Faber (R), House Minority Leader Emilia Sykes (D-Akron), Gov. Mike DeWine (R), Secretary of State Frank LaRose (R), House Speaker Bob Cupp (R-Lima) and Sen. Vernon Sykes (D-Akron).
DANIEL KONIK
/
Statehouse News Bureau
The Ohio Redistricting Commission, in its meeting on October 26, 2021. From left to right: Senate President Matt Huffman (R-Lima), Auditor Keith Faber (R), House Minority Leader Emilia Sykes (D-Akron), Gov. Mike DeWine (R), Secretary of State Frank LaRose (R), House Speaker Bob Cupp (R-Lima) and Sen. Vernon Sykes (D-Akron).

The Ohio Supreme Court invalidated the maps last week and ordered new maps by Monday, January 24.

The first meeting of the panel that has been ordered to again draw maps for Ohio House and Senate districts is set for tomorrow morning – with a deadline to produce those maps less than a week away.

The announcement of Tuesday 10am meeting of the Ohio Redistricting Commission was the first communication about the commission since the Ohio Supreme Court ruled the Ohio House and Senate maps unconstitutional.

The announcement came from the offices of House Speaker Bob Cupp (R-Lima) and Senate President Matt Huffman (R-Lima). And it has an important note:

That’s important because the commission’s two Democrats said they were shut out of the process that resulted in the maps approved in September. And Republicans Gov. Mike DeWine, Auditor Keith Faber and Secretary of State Frank LaRose testified in the lawsuit over the maps that they had “no involvement” in creating them, though they voted for them.

The composition of the Ohio Redistricting Commission has changed slightly. House Minority Leader Emilia Sykes has stepped down from that position, and newly elected Leader Allison Russo will now serve on the panel.

The announcement notes the meeting on Tuesday, January 18 starts at 10am in Room 313 in the Statehouse. There's also a website that will be accepting public comment.

The Ohio Supreme Court says the new maps must be produced by Monday, January 24. It's unclear what might happen if that deadline is missed. It did miss a deadline early in the process, and some deadlines were missed in the Congressional map drawing process. The Court ruled Friday that the Congressional map is also unconstitutional and will need to be redone.

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