COLUMBUS, OH (WCMH) — With less than a week until the next deadline, the Ohio Redistricting Commission met to vote on a map. The map was introduced by the GOP caucus and has left some people concerned.
“An introduction of a map only means that it’s beginning the process and there will be bipartisan conversations going on,” said House Speaker Bob Cupp, (R) Lima.
At first glance, advocates pointed out strange shapes and lines that mirror the previous map. One analysis projects Republicans will keep their supermajority at the Statehouse, something the party denies knowing about.
The Republican caucus responsible for the map says they did not look at data of race when drawing the new map. Majority Leaders claim it would be against the law but advocates say several cases have set a legal precedent that race can be used.
“Representation of communities of color matters and need to be considered and compliance of the voting rights act is critical,” said Jen Miller, Executive Director of Ohio League of Women Voters.
The map was passed Thursday by the commission on a party-line vote of 5-2. According to republicans, changes could be soon come.
“Do I think that there are reasonable changes that can be made to the map submitted today the answer to that is yes,” said Senate President Matt Huffman, (R) Lima.
Public hearings are set for Sunday-Tuesday in Dayton, Cincinnati, and Columbus. This will lead up to Wednesday when the next deadline is for the commission.