COLUMBUS, Ohio — Ohio lawmakers and other top officials are expected to revisit the topic of redistricting in Ohio in the upcoming months.
Last year, the Ohio Supreme Court rejected both the statehouse maps and the congressional maps that were approved by Ohio’s republican-led redistricting commission.
Redrawing congressional district boundaries every decade is a common practice, reflecting population fluctuations in census data. However, the Ohio Supreme Court declared the state and congressional maps for Ohio, approved by the Redistricting Commission in 2022, unconstitutional. As a result, the maps used in last year's elections are not approved for the upcoming electoral cycle.
The redistricting commission is expected to reconvene over the summer once the co-chairs of the commission call a meeting, according to House Minority Leader Allison Russo. Lawmakers from both sides of the aisle told Spectrum News they did not want to comment until the meetings begin in the upcoming future. Meanwhile, Catherine Turcer, Executive Director of Common Cause Ohio, is keeping a close eye on the situation.
Common Cause Ohio, among other groups, previously filed a lawsuit over the prior maps. They allege that those congressional maps favor Republicans through gerrymandering. Turcer warned that unless the maps undergo significant changes to rectify the situation, her group is prepared to return to court. Turcer's long-term goal aligns with those of other states: establishing an independent redistricting commission.
"The next step is to actually change the Ohio constitution so that we can create an independent citizens' commission," Turcer said.
Former state representative, Mike Curtin, also weighed in on the matter of redistricting from 2022.
"There's no ambiguity over the need to redraw maps for '24. We will have new districts, both new congressional districts and new state legislative districts for the '24 elections," Curtin said.
While attempts have been made to contact additional lawmakers from the Redistricting Commission, as well as Secretary of State Frank LaRose, no further comments on redistricting plans have been received at this time.
Lawmakers say once the Ohio Redistricting Commission calls a meeting, then the topic of redrawing maps will rapidly begin.