Witnesses malign Ohio’s gerrymandered maps at hearing

Ohio News

FILE – In this Friday, Aug. 6, 2021 file photo, from left to right, Ohio House Democratic Leader Emilia Sykes, Senate President Matt Huffman, House Speaker Bob Cupp, both Republicans, and Democratic state Sen. Vernon Sykes speak to Auditor Keith Faber at the Ohio Statehouse in Columbus, Ohio, ahead of the first meeting of the Ohio Redistricting Commission on which they all sit. The panel overseeing the redrawing of Ohio’s legislative districts for the coming decade is traveling the state this week to gather input on what the maps should look like. The first of nine public hearings hosted by the new Ohio Redistricting Commission kicks off Monday morning, Aug. 23 in Cleveland. (AP Photo/Julie Carr Smyth, File)

CLEVELAND (AP) — More than 120 activists, scholars, pastors, students and average citizens attended the first hearing Monday of a new panel charged with redrawing Ohio’s state legislative districts for the next 10 years.

Most advocated new maps that are more fair and representative.

Witnesses at the first of nine public hearings of the Ohio Redistricting Commission at Cleveland State University maligned the current gerrymandered maps.

The executive director of Free Ohio Now expressed a different point of view. Tom Hach complained that the commission’s hearing schedule doesn’t accommodate diverse perspectives, including those of Republicans.

The panel is supposed to draft new legislative districts by Sept. 1.

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