COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) – The Ohio Redistricting Commission voted along party lines to adopt a Republican proposal to redraw the state’s Senate and House of Representatives districts.
With the 5-2 party-line vote, the commission adopted plans that would create 57 Republican-leaning districts for the state’s House, with 42 Democratic-leaning seats. On the Senate side, Republicans will have a 20-13 advantage of Republican-leaning seats.
The deadline to pass both redistricting maps was midnight Saturday.
The party-line approval failed to meet the bipartisan consensus needed to enact the maps for 10 years; as approved, the maps will be in effect for four years.
The commission got started with presentations Saturday, with both Republicans and Democrats making proposals.
The Ohio Supreme Court struck down the maps passed by the Republican majority in September, saying the maps unfairly favored Republicans, defying a constitutional amendment passed by the state’s voters in 2015. In its September ruling, the court reserved the right to review the commission’s proposal.
According to the latest data released by the state, Ohio’s political makeup is 54 percent Republican, 46 percent Democratic.
During Saturday’s hearing, commission members were able to question each of the proposals, specifically compactness and if Ohio’s constitutional guidelines were met.
The Democrats’ proposal for the House showed 45 seats leaning Democrat, 54 leaning Republican. On the Senate side, Democrats proposed 15 seats leaning Democrat, 18 Republican.
The Ohio League of Women Voters is one of the organizations which filed a lawsuit regarding the previous maps.
“This is an important night where we want to make sure the redistricting commission ultimately create maps that don’t serve them but instead really represent the people of Ohio,” League of Women Voters representative Jen Miller said Saturday.
Candidates for the May 3 primary must file to run by Feb. 2.
This story will be updated once progress is made on the maps.