COLUMBUS— Faced with more than a four-month delay in critical U.S. Census data, the Ohio Redistricting Commission moved forward today with a four-year map plan for the Ohio General Assembly’s legislative districts.
“These house and senate maps will be in place for the next four years, and represent an important first step towards approving the next map that will complete the decade,” said commission member and Senate President Matt Huffman.
Senator Huffman was the primary author of the constitutional amendment voters approved in 2015 which changed the process, establishing strong bipartisan standards designed to keep communities and counties together.
The seven-member commission consists of the Governor, Auditor, Secretary of State and four members of the General Assembly, two from each party. Despite a majority vote of 5-2, both democrats voted against the plan, which under the new rules prevents a ten-year map from becoming law.
“I’m convinced we could’ve reached a ten-year map,” said Huffman, “However, special interests pressured democrats to not support it, asking voters to extend the deadline to accomplish that.”
The commission traveled the state, holding more than a dozen hearings for the public to provide input on the proposed maps.
“Make no mistake, special interests want to get what they can’t win at the polls,” said Huffman. “So-called representational fairness is just another way to describe gerrymandering, and these groups need to remember districts are won with quality candidates, issues and campaigns, not on predetermined outcomes based on a false premise of letting special interests from Washington D.C. define what is fair.”