Redistricting Commission Misses First Deadline

The legislature allowed the first deadline of the decennial redistricting process to pass without action on September 1. Every 10 years, in conjunction with a new U.S. census, Ohio must redraw maps for representatives to the United States House of Representatives, the Ohio House of Representatives and the Ohio Senate.

This year, redistricting is complicated by two factors: A delay in census data due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the new process for drawing maps after voters overwhelmingly approved Ohio Issue 1 in 2015 (state legislature) and 2018 (congressional maps). The new process requires more transparency and allows a larger voice for the minority party, although a simple majority can implement new maps that remain in place for four years instead of 10 without much input from the minority party.

September 15 is the deadline for a state legislative map to be approved by the redistricting commission and moved forward to the full legislature for approval. In order for a 10-year map to go into effect, a map must be approved by three-fifths of the legislature (including at least half of the minority caucus) by September 30. The deadline for Congressional districts is September 30 and requires a three-fifth vote for a 10-year map.

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