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Redistricting commission passes new General Assembly maps; objections filed

Written on Jan 27, 2022

Provided by Hannah News Service 

Just hours before a Jan. 22 midnight deadline, the Ohio Redistricting Commission passed new General Assembly districts on a 5-2 party-line vote, with maps favoring Republicans in 57 House districts to 42 districts for Democrats and Senate districts favoring Republicans by a margin of 20-13. 

Because no Democrats voted for the maps, they will only last four years. On Jan. 24, the plaintiffs in lawsuits challenging the General Assembly maps signaled their intention to object to the latest map approved by the Ohio Redistricting Commission when they filed evidence with the Ohio Supreme Court to support their arguments opposing the new maps. Under the Court's ruling striking down the first legislative district maps adopted by the commission, the plaintiffs in the lawsuits had three days to file any objections to the new maps; those objections were filed on Jan. 26. 

Last Saturday saw the Democrats and Republicans exchanging proposed maps, with both parties identifying what they said where major flaws with the plans offered by the opposing side. Democrats complained that Republicans were not attaining the 54 to 46 percent proportionality set out by the Ohio Supreme Court when it struck down the previous maps earlier this month, while Republicans argued it was impossible to do so without violating other sections of the Ohio Constitution's Article XI. 

The final maps make most of the changes from the previous maps adopted last year in the urban areas. In addition to changes previously introduced on Thursday to Hamilton, Warren, Franklin, and Union counties, the commission also made more Democratic leaning districts in Northern Ohio, especially in Cuyahoga, Lorain and Summit counties. Some changes were also made in West Central Ohio, though those changes did not result in any partisan leaning changes. 

In a related move, a House committee approved an amendment ensuring candidates who gathered signatures for their campaign petitions still can count those that were in the initial district maps even if the district was changed during this latest round of redistricting.