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Movement on new Ohio Congressional district map not expected for another week

Voting rights advocates scrutinize the congressional district map proposed by Republican lawmakers in November 2021.
Andy Chow
Statehouse News Bureau
Voter rights advocates scrutinize the Congressional district map proposed by Republican lawmakers in November 2021.

Senate President Matt Huffman (R-Lima) says the legislature will potentially start taking action on a new Congressional map the week of February 7.

The Ohio House and Ohio Senate must redraw the state's 15 congressional districts after the supreme court ruled the previous map unconstitutionally gerrymandered in favor of Republicans just under two weeks ago.

While the legislature has first crack at approving a new plan, they have a new hurdle to deal with.

Huffman says this time around the legislature will have to pass a new Congressional map with two-thirds of the vote in order for it to go into effect before the primary, which means getting Democratic support.

"Hopefully that we can we can get a resolution where, you know, again, the issue is largely in the house where they could get a two-thirds vote on emergency clause with that bill," says Huffman.

If not, the process goes back to the Ohio Redistricting Commission where Republicans can pass a four-year map without Democratic approval.

Republicans will also be at a fundraiser in Florida next week but Huffman doesn't think that'll conflict with redrawing the maps, and says he will cancel the trip if he needs to.

The Senate created a placeholder bill, SB286, to begin working on the new map.

The previous map created 12 out of 15 districts that heavily favor or lean in favor of Republicans in a state that has voted about 54% Republican and 46% Democratic, according to an average of statewide race results over the last 10 years.

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