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Ohio leaders preparing for possible legal challenge to new House, Senate maps

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Andy Chow
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Statehouse News Bureau
House Speaker Bob Cupp (R-Lima) talks about possible legal challenge to new Ohio House and Ohio Senate district maps.

Opponents of the new state legislative district maps have until the end of Tuesday to file an objection in the Ohio Supreme Court.

The original plaintiffs in the court challenge includes voter rights organizations and Democratic-backed groups. They are expected to mount another legal challenge against the latest Republican-drawn legislative maps.

House Speaker Bob Cupp (R-Lima) says the Ohio Redistricting Commission and legislature is preparing for what might happen next if those decide to go back to court.

"Redistricting and lawsuits go together. It's sort of like the night follows the day. So it was expected that that would happen," says Cupp. "One can never predict what a court would do. We did the best job that we can under the circumstances."

House and Senate maps January 2022 version - Approved by ORC.jpg
Ohio Redistricting Commission
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Ohio House and Ohio Senate district maps approved by Ohio Redistricting Commission in

Critics of the new maps say Republicans still drew the House and Senate districts to put Democrats at a disadvantage and do not proportionally reflect Ohio's voter preference. This was the argument cited in the original supreme court ruling that struck down the first round of maps approved by the Ohio Redistricting Commission in September 2021.

The new Ohio House map creates 57 seats favoring Republicans and 42 seats favoring Democrats. There are 20 Republican-leaning districts and 13 Democratic-leaning districts in the new Ohio Senate map.

However, 12 out of the 42 Democratic House districts are within a 3% margin of competitiveness. Opponents of the maps say that makes it possible for many districts to swing in favor of Republicans and for the GOP to retain a supermajority.

Contact Andy at achow@statehousenews.org.
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