Cincinnati Enquirer/Gannett: Ohio Redistricting Commission, set to miss first deadline, can’t agree on who draws maps
Cincinnati Enquirer/Gannett: Ohio Redistricting Commission, set to miss first deadline, can't agree on who draws maps
How close is the Ohio Redistricting Commission to approving a map for state House and Senate districts that the public can weigh in on? Not very.
In fact, they can’t even agree on who should hold the pen.
House Minority Leader Emilia Sykes, D-Akron, says the seven-member commission must draw and present a map together – not separately as Republicans and Democrats or House and Senate staffs. …
The commission is expected to miss its first deadline to adopt a map no later than Wednesday.
Much of that is not their fault. Mapmakers received population data needed to draw lines from the U.S. Census several months late because the COVID-19 pandemic delayed the count.
There is no penalty for missing the Sept. 1 deadline. The seven-member commission could still approve a 10-year map by the final deadline, Sept. 15, with support from four members and the group’s two Democrats.
The commission, which includes five Republicans and two Democrats, could approve a map that lasts only four years with a simple majority and no support from the minority party.
Deadlines aren’t as important as transparency and public input, said Catherine Turcer, executive director of Common Cause Ohio, which pushed for redistricting reform via two constitutional amendments.
“It is not the end of the world if they miss the deadline,” Turcer said. “It is a problem if they don’t lay out a plan and address public concerns about a secretive process.”