Ohio Redistricting Commission passes 4-year legislative map after second vote fails to reach consensus

Republican-backed maps go back to state Supreme Court for approval, Democrats condemn action
By a 5-2 vote Saturday, Republicans on the Ohio Redistricting Commission passed new four-year...
By a 5-2 vote Saturday, Republicans on the Ohio Redistricting Commission passed new four-year district maps for the House and Senate. The maps must be approved by the state Supreme Court.(SOURCE: Ohio House of Representatives)
Published: Jan. 22, 2022 at 9:38 PM EST
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COLUMBUS, Ohio (WOIO) - Republican members of the Ohio Redistricting Commission approved a new legislative map for the state House and Senate, despite the ongoing objections by Democrats.

The new maps give Republicans a 57-42 advantage over Democrats in the House and 20-13 edge in the Senate.

Voting along party lines, the final tally was 5-2.

Because a consensus wasn’t reached, the new maps, which still require approval by the state Supreme Court, would only last for four years, not 10.

The vote comes after the court scolded the commission for their first attempt, which would’ve potentially given five more House seats and three more Senate seats to the Republicans.

House Minority Leader and Commission member Allison Russo (D-Upper Arlington) decried the vote, saying it was not in line with the will of Ohio voters over the last ten years, or what the court required when it sent the commission back to try again.

“Republican commissioners had a second chance to do right by Ohioans and produce fair maps, but they instead chose to prioritize partisan politics over their Constitutional duty yet again,” Russo said. “These gerrymandered maps are an insult to Ohio voters who overwhelmingly demanded fair maps not once, but twice.”

The Democrats’ proposal called for 54 Republican-leaning districts and 45 Democratic-leaning districts in the Ohio House, and 18 Republican-leaning districts and 15 Democratic-leaning districts in the Ohio Senate, according to a press release from Russo’s office.

Ohio Democratic Party Chair Elizabeth Walters also spoke against the vote, calling it “unconstitutional”.

“Republicans on the commission are determined to play by their own rules in order to advance their purely partisan interests, ignoring Ohio voters, Supreme Court justices and the Ohio Constitution in the process,” she said. “Flouting the rules didn’t work out for these GOP politicians the first time, and we’ll be fighting with everything we’ve got to make sure it doesn’t work now.”

Senate Majority Leader Kenny Yuko (D-Richmond Heights) joined his colleagues in voicing his frustration about the vote.

“Once again, the maps adopted today show total disrespect for the reforms to end gerrymandering that voters overwhelmingly approved in 2015,” he stated. “Ohioans spoke loud and clear, but five people didn’t listen.”

The Republicans had not yet released a formal comment on the decision by Saturday evening.

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