Republicans to offer redistricting map as panel reconvenes

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Republican lawmakers plan to unveil their version of a newly drawn map of state legislative districts on Thursday morning, with a vote planned later in the day on a final version, the Ohio Senate president said.

The Ohio Redistricting Commission, charged with drawing a map good for as long as 10 years, missed its Sept. 1 deadline, triggering an extension until the middle of the month. Senate Democrats submitted their proposed map last week.

The map to be presented Thursday morning was created by House and Senate Republicans, said Senate President Matt Huffman, a Lima Republican. Some of the GOP map is almost identical to the Senate Democrats’ version, he said. The commission will vote on a final version of its proposed map Thursday afternoon, Huffman said.

The commission held nine public hearings around the state earlier this month looking for input on a new map, which is meant to end the current gerrymandered maps.

Voters approved constitutional amendments in 2015 and 2018 that created a new process for drawing both state legislative and congressional district maps this year and set up the independent commission.

Creating a 10-year map requires a majority vote of the commission, including both Democrats. Creating a 4-year map requires a simple majority of the commission without both Democrats.