COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH)–Ohio’s Redistricting Commission is in a race against the clock. The group has less than a week to draw new legislative maps. The seven-member commission met Tuesday due to the state Supreme Court order declaring the district maps unconstitutional.
For Secretary of State Frank LaRose, this is now about moving the deadlines. Ohio’s primary is May 3. Before that day, deadlines for things like entering districts, filing for candidacy, voter information, and printing ballots are coming up.
“Let me be clear. The general assembly has ordered me to conduct an election on May 3, and I am committed to that,” said LaRose. “Without finality on maps, that starts to become mechanically very impossible very soon.”
LaRose emphasized getting these maps done and on time is critical to the entire timeline of holding an election, and plans to ask lawmakers for the authority to move those deadlines to allow for the redistricting process.
In the meantime, members of the bipartisan committee expressed determination to get the task finished.
“I’m well aware of the time constraints which makes this process difficult but not impossible,” said Speaker of the House Robert Cupp (R) said. “We will all be working diligently to achieve those ends.”
“It is hard, but we are smart, we are talented and we are experienced people on this commission,” said Representative Allison Russo (D). “I know that we can get this work done.”
The commission has until Monday, Jan 24, to redraw statehouse and senate districts. The court ruled that the districts should reflect the preferences of Ohio voters, which is 54 percent Republican, 46 percent Democrat.