COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) – Ohio has district maps for the state House of Representatives and the Senate, for the moment.

In a move lauded by Republicans and decried by Democrats, Republican Senate President Matt Huffman put forth a motion to pass “modified” versions of maps the Ohio Supreme Court has already ruled unconstitutional.

The motion passed 4-3, with commission members Senate Minority Leader Vernon Sykes, House Minority Leader Allison Russo, and Ohio Auditor Keith Faber voting against it. Huffman, Ohio Speaker of the House Robert Cupp, Gov. Mike DeWine, and Secretary of State Frank LaRose, all Republicans, voted in favor of the motion.

Huffman put forward the motion to take the most recent set of maps passed by the commission on Feb. 24 and rejected by the Ohio Supreme Court on March 16, make changes to them to try and make them more in line with the Ohio Constitution, and have those as a Plan B should the commission not be able to hit its midnight Monday deadline.

Before the vote, Cupp said the revised maps were “the best that could be done in the time allotted by the Supreme Court.” Cupp said the plan moves two House districts and one Senate district from asymmetrical to Democrat-leaning.

Russo countered, calling the motion and the maps “a complete farce,” going on to say the commission had a list of data and photos of maps with little context to them.

Two independent mapmakers — University of Florida political science professor Dr. Michael McDonald and President of the National Demographics Corporation Dr. Douglas Johnson – have been working on maps since last Wednesday. In the end, the commission didn’t use any of their proposed plans.

The final approved maps for Ohio’s House of Representatives and Senate are now headed to the Ohio Supreme Court.

Monday’s meeting with the commission and the mapmakers started an hour later than scheduled before McDonald and Johnson updated the commission on its progress since Sunday’s meeting, adding there was still more work to do.

A second meeting at 3 p.m. Monday also started an hour late, with the mapmakers saying they were nearly finished with a map for the Ohio House with the exception of seven counties in northeast Ohio.

Johnson told the commission they have not done any in-depth work on the Senate map yet, anticipating the process could last until the midnight deadline.

“We’re working with a number of bad choices here and if one of them is we do nothing, at least this is doing something,” Huffman said.

The Democrats on the commission strongly objected to the idea, calling it “another bait-and-switch by the supermajority,” and a waste of money and time.

“I think this is just simply the Republican 1) not wanting to give up power, but 2) doing an end-run around the state Supreme Court,” Russo said. “That has entirely been the strategy.”

Further complicating matters is McDonald had to leave at 5 p.m. Monday to teach a class in Florida on Tuesday, something the commission was aware of when he was brought in. McDonald said his absence shouldn’t affect the process Monday night, and he’ll rejoin the process virtually when his flight lands.

The Ohio Supreme Court ruled the first three attempts at district maps unconstitutional because they favored Republicans over Democrats or failed to keep communities together in exchange for rounding up voters of similar party registration.

The process, which started back in September 2021 after the release of the 2020 Census data, has thrown the May 3 primary for a loop. LaRose ordered the 88 county boards of elections to begin preparing ballots for the primary minus the statehouse races. In his order, LaRose said it was now the job of the General Assembly to decide if the primary should be moved to a later date and include all races or be split into two different dates.

A bill was introduced in the Ohio Senate the following day pushing to move the date of the primary. However, a spokesperson for Senate Republicans said last week that at that time, there was no desire to move the date.

The maps must comply with the state’s political makeup, which according to data from the state, is 54 percent Republican, 46 percent Democrat.

The deadline to register to vote for the primary is April 4, with early voting scheduled to begin the next day.