(The Center Square) – The Ohio Redistricting Commission returns Wednesday after failing a year ago to produce maps determined as fair by the Ohio Supreme Court.
Gov. Mike DeWine called the commission back for an organizational meeting before beginning the process again to draw state legislative districts.
State legislative maps last for 10 years if at least two members of each political party vote for the proposal. Each map presented last year received support from only the five Republican members of the commission. Neither of the two Democrats voted for any proposed map.
The commission members include Republican state Rep. Jeff LaRe, Democratic Senate Minority Leader Nickie Antonio, Republican Sen. Rob McColley, House Minority Leader Allison Russo, along with Republicans Gov. Mike DeWine, Secretary of State Frank LaRose and state Auditor Keith Faber.
The meeting comes a year after the commission’s months-long effort to develop state and congressional district lines that the courts repeatedly rejected.
Eventually, a federal court implemented maps, twice ruled unconstitutional by the Ohio Supreme Court, to be used in a second primary in August 2022.
Last month, Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost rejected a proposed citizen-led constitutional amendment that would change the makeup of the redistricting commission, proposing a 15-member commission consisting of Republican, Democrat and independent citizens of different demographics and areas of the state.
Yost said the amendment’s summary was not a fair and truthful statement of the proposed amendment.
In May 2018, Ohio voters approved a constitutional amendment that was expected to create a bipartisan redistricting commission. The commission consists of seven members – a member appointed by the Senate president, the House speaker, Senate minority leader and House minority leader, the governor, state auditor and the secretary of state.