COLUMBUS – Ohio Senate Minority Leader Kenny Yuko (D-Richmond Heights) and House Minority Leader Allison Russo (D-Upper Arlington) issued statements today outlining their expectations for the process to redraw the congressional map. The General Assembly has until Feb. 13 to adopt a congressional map that complies with the Ohio Constitution and the Ohio Supreme Court’s order.
“This time, Ohioans and Democrats want to see the adoption of a fair congressional map that keeps communities together, accurately reflects the preferences of Ohio voters, and follows the Constitution. We are urging an open and transparent process with public hearings on the proposed maps so Ohioans have a chance to make their voices heard on what the final lines will look like. That’s why the majority should reveal its proposed map as soon as possible. There is a clear path to producing a fair, constitutional map that allows for the equal representation that all Ohio voters deserve. Now, it is the duty of this General Assembly to uphold our Constitutional responsibility and deliver a fair map,” said Leader Russo.
“Ohioans told us unequivocally in 2018 that they wanted fair districts, and this is our chance to create the map they demanded,” Leader Yuko said. “It’s time for us to work together as a legislature to create a bipartisan plan that doesn’t divide our communities or unduly favor any political party.”
A congressional map adopted by the legislature must include an emergency clause for it to take effect before the primary election on May 3. An emergency clause requires support from two-thirds of each legislative chamber. If the General Assembly does not act, the Ohio Constitution provides that the Redistricting Commission has an additional 30 days to pass a bipartisan, 10-year map. There is no provision in Article 19 of the Constitution for the Commission to pass a four-year congressional map. The Commission can only adopt a 10-year map by a vote including both Democratic Commissioners. A minimum of two public hearings are required on any map considered by the legislature or the Redistricting Commission.
Democrats introduced a bill last fall with a congressional map that meets all of the requirements of the Ohio Constitution and the Court’s order. It can be viewed here.