Ohio sets date for 1st redistricting commission meeting

August 2, 2021 GMT

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — The first meeting to redraw Ohio’s congressional and legislative districts is set for Friday, Gov. Mike DeWine announced.

The commission will convene on Aug. 6 to begin the new redistricting process before the mid-September deadline to complete the new maps.

The data Ohio is anticipating receiving around Aug. 16 will include counts of population by race, Hispanic origin, voting age and housing occupancy status at geographic levels as small as neighborhoods. The data will be used for drawing voting districts for Congress and state legislatures.

The release of the data by the U.S. Census Bureau will happen more than four months after the April 1 date on which it normally arrives — due to the impact of the coronavirus.

The new system, which is meant to fight gerrymandering in the state, requires an independent commission to finish redrawing legislative districts by Sept. 1. It sets a Sept. 30 deadline for the state’s General Assembly to complete a new map of congressional districts.

The number of congressional districts in Ohio was reduced from 16 to 15 with the release of new census data in late April. Updated U.S. House maps will need to reflect that loss of a district.