File-Ohio Redistricting Commission meets

Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine (foreground) speaks to state Sen. Vernon Sykes, the co-chair of the Ohio Redistricting Commission, as other members of the panel prepare for a meeting Wednesday, Sept. 15, 2021, at the Ohio Statehouse in Columbus, Ohio.

(The Center Square) – The Ohio Redistricting Commission has 10 days to redraw state legislative maps after the Ohio Supreme Court ruled Wednesday recently drawn maps that favored Republicans did not attempt to avoid party favoritism.

The court also retained jurisdiction to review the new maps.

The court sided in a 4-3 opinion with the League of Women Voters, which was one of three groups to file a lawsuit challenging the state maps, which established new Ohio Senate and House district lines.

The American Civil Liberty Union and the National Democratic Redistricting Committee, chaired by former U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder, also filed lawsuits.

The ACLU’s lawsuit said Republicans have received between 46.2% and 59.7% of the statewide vote over the past decade. The new enacted map draws 67% of the House districts and 69% of the Senate districts to favor Republicans.

The Ohio Redistricting Commission approved four-year maps on a 5-2 party-line vote with the commission’s two Democrats voting against the districts.

If the commission unanimously passes maps, they are good for 10 years. If they pass with only a majority, they last for four years before being redrawn. The maps passed Sept. 16 likely lock-in a Republican veto-proof supermajority in both chambers of the General Assembly.

Ohio voters established the Ohio Redistricting Commission in 2018 to redraw congressional and legislative district maps.

Regional Editor

An Ohio native, J.D. Davidson is a veteran journalist with more than 30 years of experience in newspapers in Ohio, Georgia, Alabama and Texas. He has served as a reporter, editor, managing editor and publisher.