DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) – Less than five months from Ohio’s Primary Election and redistricting continues to be an issue.

As they stand right now, the maps approved by the Ohio Redistricting Commission on Saturday, January 22, 2022, would make some changes to the districts in Montgomery County. Jeff Rezabek, the director of the Montgomery County Board of Elections, said along with the numbers of each district changing, House District 43 would expand to include more rural areas. He added some communities in House Districts 41 and 42 would also get rearranged.

“Representative White, her district changed probably most significantly with trying to get some communities together. Representative Young, his district kind of expands to make sure he has all of Centerville instead of splitting up Centerville,” Rezabek said.

Willis Blackshear Jr. is currently the state representative for the 39th District. If these maps are approved, he would represent a new set of voters.

“I know longer represent Jefferson Township and parts of West Dayton. Now I will be representing, still Dayton and most of West Dayton, and now I’ll be representing Riverside and parts of Huber Heights,” Blackshear said.

These maps are facing another set of legal challenges and the delay is impacting the Montgomery County Board of Elections. Rezabek said the county reorganized a lot of precincts and polling places. He said without an approved set of maps, the board has to wait to send out important information regarding the election and those changes.

“Specifically here in Montgomery County, it’s delaying our ability to notify the voters of their new precincts and notify the voters of what jurisdiction they’re in,” Rezabek said.

The new maps are coming under fire again, with advocacy groups and democrats calling them unconstitutional. Blackshear said he does not understand why the Redistricting Commission split up certain communities in his district.

“When I think about Jefferson Township and Dayton, those communities always have been merged in terms of representation. And now they have split it up with, I believe Preble County, and we look at Preble County and Jefferson Township, those aren’t communities that have a lot in common,” Blackshear said.

Nancy Martorano Miller, an associate professor of political science at the University of Dayton, said the job of the Redistricting Commission is to make the maps proportional between Democrats and Republicans.

“The first set of maps gave the republican party about a two-thirds favor in the state legislature even though over the past decade, statewide votes, for say Governor or Secretary of State, have broken down about 55-54 percent Republican, 45-46 percent Democrat,” Miller said.

While the new maps get closer to those proportions, it is still not enough for the groups filing objections, like the Ohio League of Women Voters.

“Instead, we’re seeing these maps that are rigged for political favors and big donors and party extremes. At the end of the day, that hurts every voter,” Jen Miller, the Executive Director of the LWV, said.

The fate of these new maps are once again at the hands of the Supreme Court.

“This is basically going to come down to whether or not Chief Justice O’Connor is satisfied that the changes in the map meet the directions that the court gave the redistricting commission,” Miller said.

The Ohio Legislature passed emergency legislation Wednesday to loosen candidate filing requirements. Candidates can now collect signatures from a different district in which they are running as long as it was accepted under the old district lines.