COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) — Ohio’s General Assembly maps were rejected for the third time Wednesday as unconstitutional by the Ohio Supreme Court.
Now, what’s next with the primary is under scrutiny because those maps lay out the districts that create the ballot.
This is the third set of maps that have been thrown out by the Ohio Supreme Court, and the Ohio Redistricting Commission has a chance to draw maps for a fourth time.
“What matters most right now is let’s get districts that truly uphold the Ohio constitution,” Jen Miller, executive director of the League of Women Voters, said.
The Ohio Supreme Court is calling on the Ohio Redistricting Commission to draw maps again — specifically calling for the drafting to be done in public with frequent meetings.
“I’m happy that we have another chance at this — the big question remains, ‘Will the majority on the commission again enter into this with a true desire to negotiate and come to fair maps?’” House Minority Leader Rep. Allison Russo said.
Gov. Mike DeWine offered what he believes is the path forward, “I don’t know any other way of doing it than to get the three mapmakers, put them in a room, tell them to work together, tell them to follow the Constitution and to follow the Supreme Court.”
Both Leader Russo and a Governor DeWine are part of the Ohio Redistricting Commission.
The seven-person commission has until March 28 to adopt a new plan. That deadline is nearly one month before the primary election date.
“Our local election officials have been very clear that we need to only have one primary,” Russo said. “So I look to them for recommendations on when that should be moved, but without a doubt, the primary must be moved.”
DeWine said he’s been in communication with leaders of both the Senate and the House.
“Everybody is kind of looking at this, at what to do in regard to the elections. As you know, the legislature sets the date, and so we’ll see what the will of the legislature is,” DeWine said. “I don’t have much more at this point about that particular issue.”
More work could come to the Ohio Redistricting Commission, as the congressional map it passed earlier this month is also facing objections in court.
The Ohio Supreme Court has not made a decision on that particular map at this time.