COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) — The Ohio Redistricting Commission passed a third set of legislative maps Thursday — one week after it failed to meet its Feb. 17 court-ordered deadline.
In a 4-3 vote, the commission approved new Republican-drawn maps that dictate the districts that will make up Ohio’s General Assembly.
All of the Republican commissioners — except for Auditor Keith Faber — voted in favor of adopting the maps.
The two Democrats on the commission voted against the proposal and expressed disapproval that they were not involved in drafting the maps.
“I in fact think that it is a worse map than what we’ve saw that’s already been tossed out by the court. And listen, a lot can happen in four years, and I’ll leave that up to the voters to decide what happens next,” said Democratic House Minority Leader Allison Russo.
Republican House Speaker Bob Cupp, however, praised what he said were a set of maps that adhered to requirements handed down by the Ohio Supreme Court.
“After months of trying and retrying and trying again and after several court decisions refining the meaning of the terms of the Constitution, the target proportionality as determined by the court has been achieved in this proposed map,” Cupp said.
Auditor Keith Faber was the sole Republican to vote against the proposal, citing concerns that the map featured “unnecessary splits” in order to achieve a Republican 54-45 advantage in the House.
“When you try to draw a 54 – 45 map, you have to in my opinion gerrymander for the other side and so I had concerns with this map,” Faber he explained. He continued adding, “And to be consistent, I thought those concerns were consistent with the concerns I had last week and for that reason I couldn’t support this map.”
Representative Allison Russo defended the Democratic map proposed on Feb. 17, which was previously shot down by the commission.
“We’ve put forward a constitutional map, and this commission has voted no on it, claiming it was not constitutional, and of course we disagree with that,” she said.
This commission, including Gov. Mike DeWine, will appear before the Ohio Supreme Court Tuesday at 10 a.m. to explain to the justices why they shouldn’t be held in contempt of court for failing to meet the deadline.
The court will likely examine these maps to determine whether they are constitutional. If approved, the Republican-drawn maps will dictate Ohio’s legislative districts for four years.
Here’s the break down for the Ohio House and Senate district maps that was adopted in the 4-3 vote. This is based off off a 4% margin:
- House Democratic: 26 seats very likely to be Democratic, 19 competitive
- House Republican: 54 very likely to be Republican, 0 competitive
- Senate Democratic: 8 very likely to be Democratic, 7 competitive
- Senate Republican: 18 very likely to be Republican, 0 competitive