Ohio Redistricting Committee to Meet May 4 to Discuss Redesigned District Map Boundaries Again | Ohio News | Cincinnati
The Ohio Redistricting Commission will meet soon for the first time since the state Supreme Court rejected its fourth attempt at legislative maps on April 14.
In a letter to fellow ORC co-chair Senator Vernon Sykes, House Speaker Bob Cupp said it was “unwise” and “impossible” for the committee to meet before May 4 in due to activities around the May 3 primary.
“We already have a split primary. Early voting is at an all-time high,” Cupp wrote in a letter received by media on April 28. “Holding more meetings before May 3 would serve no purpose other than to further confuse the electorate.
The primary will be split because the Statehouse races for the Ohio House of Representatives and Senate seats do not appear on the May 3 ballot, as legislative maps have been rejected four times by the Supreme Court of Ohio. Ohio.
A second primary will need to be held, potentially in August, for voters to have a say in who goes to Statehouse, once a map is passed.
Cupp came to the defense of Ohio Secretary of State Frank LaRose, also a member of the commission, saying he had a “tremendous responsibility” in handling the state’s first primary of the year. May 3.
“I am not prepared to sacrifice the smooth running of the primary election for the sole purpose of conducting business that can just as well be conducted at the Redistricting Commission meeting already scheduled for May 4.”
Official notice for the May 4 hearing did not arrive until 4 p.m. on April 28.
Also on Thursday afternoon, Sykes sent a response to Cupp’s letter, saying he continues to believe the commission should meet “as soon as possible” and requesting a Friday meeting with a virtual option.
“While it is a statutory duty that Secretary LaRose exercise his responsibilities to ensure that we have a well-run election, it is a constitutional obligation that we produce constitutional legislative districts in the state,” Sykes wrote. .
On the same day that commission co-chairs were squabbling over a new meeting date, voters in Ohio were demanding a renewed and improved process.
A public forum was hosted by Sykes and House Minority Leader Allison Russo in a Senate conference room on Thursday afternoon, where dozens of people, many of whom held signs demanding “fair districts” and homemade signs accusing GOP members of the commission of not acting in good faith. .
Captain Phil Crane said that during his military service and watching the Jan. 6 insurrection abroad, he realized that due diligence on democracy was also needed at home. Redistricting and drawing up a constitutional legislative map is part of that, he said.
“I hope part of your motivation is not just to make sure that this democracy reflects the oath that myself and my peers have sworn to protect, but to prevent the next cohort of soldiers sent to these remote areas not to return. and wonder why their friends died,” Crane told Russo and Sykes, while also addressing the commission.
Pat Krummrich said she attended several meetings during the commission’s tenure after noticing the power of the supermajority to push back against gun control, and compared it to a “Netflix mini-series”.
“It was clear after one or two hearings, you could see that the plan all along … on the part of the majority … was to drag everything out, so it would be sent back to the (US District Court) and (the GOP) would end up by getting what they want and can overrule the rest of our votes,” Krummrich said.
Krummrich was referring to the three-judge panel that said if the ORC does not get a new map approved by May 28, they will institute a previously rejected one to use for this election.
The ORC is scheduled to meet at 2 p.m. May 4 in Room 313 of the Ohio Statehouse, also known as the House Finances Hearing Room.
This story was originally published by the Ohio Capital Journal and is republished here with permission.
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