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Ohio GOP leaders expect to submit their state legislative district maps soon

Senate President Matt Huffman (R-Lima) talks about possibly moving the primary date.
Andy Chow
Statehouse News Bureau
Senate President Matt Huffman (R-Lima) talks about possibly moving the primary date.

Senate President Matt Huffman (R-Lima) says a new set of Ohio House and Ohio Senate district maps could be proposed to the Ohio Redistricting Commission as early as Thursday.

Mapmakers for the Republican legislative caucuses have been working on drawing maps that comply with the constitution and the supreme court order, according to Huffman.

The senate president says the mapmakers have been working on a new proposal since February 11 and that they are very close to a final product.

"The problem always is with these things, especially trying to do it in a short period of time, is making sure all that the technical things are appropriate. You know, our goal is to do precisely what the court asked. And I think we're pretty close to that," says Huffman.

House Speaker Bob Cupp (R-Lima) echoed Huffman's comments and said the work was being done as "expeditiously as possible."

But Sen. Vernon Sykes (D-Akron) added that, since maps were being drawn, Democratic staff should also be included in the process.

"We're part of the commission. And so far, we haven't seen it and they haven't participated in it, and I can't verify that the work is even being done," says Sykes.

On Wednesday, different members of the commission filed briefs with the Ohio Supreme Court making their arguments for why they should not be held in contempt for not meeting the February 17 deadline to draw new state legislative maps.

In the response filed by Huffman and Cupp, their attorney included a statement saying that state legislative maps were being drawn and a proposal was expected to be submitted to the commission some time this week.

Secretary of State Frank LaRose (R-Ohio), who is on the redistricting commission, and Attorney General Dave Yost (R-Ohio) both issued warnings to legislative leadersthis week that it is unlikely the May 3 primary can take place with a complete ballot since the state does not have final plans for Ohio House, Ohio Senate, or U.S. Congressional district maps.

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