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From constitutional reform to crisis, Ohio redistricting saga nears federal intervention

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COLUMBUS, Ohio (Statehouse News Bureau) — A saga that began nine months ago to implement Ohio’s new redistricting process is now heading towards a federal court decision that could dash the hopes of advocates fighting against partisan gerrymandering. On August 6, 2021, the seven members of the Ohio Redistricting Commission convened and took the oath… Read More

The Ohio Redistricting Commission in a meeting at the statehouse

Redistricting commission will meet just days before deadline

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COLUMUBS, Ohio (Statehouse News Bureau) — The Ohio Redistricting Commission is planning to hold its next meeting just two days before a deadline to turn in new state legislative district maps. The commission, which has a history of missing court-ordered and constitutional deadlines, is required to adopt new House and Senate district maps by May 6. Commission co-chairs, House Speaker… Read More

House Minority Leader Allison Russo and Sen. Vernon Sykes stand outside of the locked committee room they hoped to discuss new maps in

Democrats fail to hold Ohio redistricting meeting without Republican support

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COLUMBUS, Ohio (Statehouse News Bureau) — Democratic members of the Ohio Redistricting Commission attempted to hold a meeting in the Ohio Statehouse but failed to gain the required support of at least one Republican commissioner. House Minority Leader Allison Russo (D-Upper Arlington) and Sen. Vernon Sykes (D-Akron) have been calling for the commission to reconvene… Read More

A Franklin County poll worker sets up a machine for an early in-person voter at the county's Early Vote Center

Early voting for Ohio’s May 3 primary is lagging behind 2018’s primary turnout

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COLUMBUS, Ohio (Statehouse News Bureau) — Despite hotly contested races on the Republican and Democratic primary ballots, the turnout for early voting in Ohio is down nearly 30% compared to the number of ballots cast at this point in the 2018 primary four years ago. There are two weeks to go before the May 3… Read More

Early voters at the Athens County Board of Elections on Oct. 6, 2020

Leaders of Ohio’s elections say the second primary should be held on August 2

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COLUMBUS, Ohio (Statehouse News Bureau) — A coalition of elections officials from around Ohio are underlining their call for a second primary to happen August 2 — and no later. Early voting is under way for Ohio voters to cast their ballot for statewide, congressional, and local races for the May 3 primary. But state… Read More

graphic of a gavel on a blue background

Federal judges to decide next steps in Ohio US House races

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COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — A federal judicial panel says it will decide by Tuesday whether to temporarily block the results of U.S. House races in Ohio that have gone forward under an unresolved congressional map. A three-judge panel of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Ohio announced the timeline Monday. Side parties… Read More

A Delaware County Board of Election worker sits at desk to check voters in during the November 2020 election

New Ohio bill resurrects old idea that requires voters to show a state-issued photo ID

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COLUMBUS, Ohio (Statehouse News Bureau) — Throughout the past decade, various Republican Ohio lawmakers have backed bills to require voters to show their driver’s licenses or state-issued identification cards before casting ballots. It’s a controversial idea that has lost steam in previous legislatures. But Republican Sen. Theresa Gavarone (R-Bowling Green) hopes this time will be… Read More

A sign for voting booths

Ohio Senate leader suggests COVID funds could pay for second primary after maps are approved

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COLUMBUS, Ohio (Statehouse News Bureau) — A primary for just Ohio House and Senate races will be set later this year, after Republicans on the redistricting commission failed to pass maps that the Ohio Supreme Court found constitutional. Ohio House and Senate races are not included in early voting now going on for the May… Read More

A voting sign points into a polling location

Uncertainty about primary dates over lack of constitutional maps is hurting poll worker recruitment

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COLUMBUS, Ohio (Statehouse News Bureau) — Ohio is headed toward two primaries this year – the statewide and congressional offices on May 3, and the House and Senate candidates later. The uncertainty is making it hard for local boards of elections to recruit the poll workers they need to run those primaries. Local boards are… Read More

Boxes of mail-in ballots

Ohio House Dems try to stall a bill changing deadlines for overseas and military primary voters

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COLUMBUS, Ohio (Statehouse News Bureau) — Democratic members of the Ohio House voted against the measure, saying the state needs to delay the May 3 primary for all voters with legal challenges to be heard over new Republican-approved district maps. Lawmakers engaged in a series of passionate floor speeches about the ability for military voters… Read More

A Franklin County Board of Elections worker pulls a stack of ballots in a warehouse

Ohio Senate extends deadline for overseas primary ballots to be returned

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COLUMBUS, Ohio (Statehouse News Bureau) — The Ohio Senate called a previously unscheduled session to take place on Tuesday to address the delay in getting ballots to overseas voters because of the fluctuating status of state legislative and congressional district maps. Local boards of elections will not have ballots ready in time to send to… Read More

Sharyn Rigsbee demonstrates special voting machine.

Even though new maps aren’t approved, counties ordered to add legislative offices to primary ballots

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COLUMBUS, Ohio (Statehouse News Bureau) — While the House and Senate maps approved by the Ohio Redistricting Commission last week are still awaiting a review by the state supreme court, Ohio’s elections officials are being told to prepare for more candidates for the May 3 primary. Secretary of State Frank LaRose said last week without legislative… Read More

Early voters at the Athens County Board of Elections on Oct. 6, 2020

Late entry into down-ticket statewide races by Democratic candidates could hurt their chances

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COLUMBUS, Ohio (Statehouse News Bureau) — The filing deadline for candidates who want to run for statewide office in Ohio is Wednesday. Those offices are all now occupied by Republicans, and some Democratic down-ticket statewide candidates are just announcing their bids for office. Democratic candidates for treasurer and auditor are just launching their campaigns. They… Read More

The chairs of the Ohio Supreme Court

Ohio Supreme Court rules proposed Congressional redistricting map invalid

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COLUMBUS, Ohio (Statehouse News Bureau) — The Ohio Supreme Court has ruled the proposed Congressional redistrict map invalid. The Congressional map did not reflect the will of voters who wanted to end partisan gerrymandering by unduly favored Republicans, according to the ruling. Ohio League of Women Voters President Jen Miller said it’s a victory for… Read More

Sen. Rob McColley (R-Napoleon) presents a new Congressional district map, drawn by the Senate Republican Caucus.

Activists considering whether another ballot issue is needed for Ohio redistricting process

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COLUMBUS, Ohio (Statehouse News Bureau) — The Ohio Supreme Court decision throwing out newly drawn maps for the Ohio House and Senate also included some advice for those concerned about how the maps were created. This was the first time the maps had been drawn under a constitutional amendment approved by voters in 2015 to take… Read More

Sen. Rob McColley (R-Napoleon) presents a new Congressional district map, drawn by the Senate Republican Caucus.

Voter rights groups file challenge to new Ohio Congressional map

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COLUMBUS, Ohio (Statehouse News Bureau) — A coalition of voter rights groups has filed a challenge to the state’s new Congressional district map in the Ohio Supreme Court. The ACLU of Ohio, League of Women Voters, and the A. Philip Randolph Institute filed the lawsuit in the Ohio Supreme Court, along with other individuals named… Read More

Sen. Rob McColley (R-Napoleon) presents a new Congressional district map, drawn by the Senate Republican Caucus.

Ohio GOP lawmakers unveil Congressional map proposals

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COLUMBUS, Ohio (Statehouse News Bureau) — State Republican lawmakers are introducing two proposals, one from the House and one from the Senate, for new Congressional district maps. The roll-out comes with confusion over how exactly the maps break down, with voter rights groups arguing a lack of transparency in the process. The maps were presented… Read More

Absentee voters can drop off their election ballots in this box on Court Street in uptown Athens.

Interest in local races, early voting brings in more absentee ballots this year

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COLUMBUS, Ohio (Statehouse News Bureau) — There are no federal or statewide offices or issues on this year’s ballot – odd year elections are primarily for local races and issues and judicial candidates. So turnout is expected to be lower. But Ohio voters did turn in more early ballots this year than the last odd-year… Read More

Ohio Redistricting Commission meets late at night on the final day of the constitutional deadline to pass maps.

Commission Approves Final District Maps That Appear To Retain GOP Supermajorities in House, Senate

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COLUMBUS, Ohio (Statehouse News Bureau) — Just after the clock struck midnight, the Ohio Redistricting Commission approved new Ohio House and Ohio Senate district maps, that are likely to guarantee a Republican supermajority for the next four years, by a vote of 5 to 2. The two Democrats on the panel voted against the plan…. Read More

The Ohio Statehouse in Spring

Ohio Redistricting Commission Gets An Earful At Weekend Hearing On Proposed Legislative Maps

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COLUMBUS, Ohio (Statehouse News Bureau) — Members of the panel that will approve new maps for Ohio House and Senate districts were lambasted Sunday by Ohioans who attended a public hearing in Dayton that went on for more than four hours. Overwhelmingly, those who spoke said the maps being considered are hyper-partisan. Connie Sheets, a… Read More

The Ohio Statehouse

Redistricting Commission Adopts District Maps That Appear To Retain Republican Supermajority

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COLUMBUS, Ohio (Statehouse News Bureau) — The Ohio Redistricting Commission has adopted an official proposal for the new state House and Senate district maps. Now leaders will go to different parts of the state to hear public comment on the maps that were drawn by the Republican caucuses. The majority caucuses in the House and Senate… Read More

A sign outside of the Nelsonville voter precinct lets people know where they can vote.

Ohio Redistricting Commission Sets Two Meetings In One Day, Republicans Will Propose Maps

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COLUMBUS, Ohio (Statehouse News Bureau) — Majority caucus leaders in the Ohio House and Ohio Senate have been working behind the scenes on a new state legislative district map for the 99 seats in the Ohio House and 33 seats in the Ohio Senate. Senate President Matt Huffman (R-Lima) said he’s looked over the maps with… Read More

A poll worker helps a voter to a machine at Franklin County's early voting center in Columbus on Sunday, March 15. In-person voting for the March 17 primary was cancelled the next day and the mail-in deadline was extended to April 28.

Voters To Decide Primaries For Congressional 11th And 15th Districts Today

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COLUMBUS, Ohio (Statehouse News Bureau) — Early voting has ended for special election primaries in Ohio’s 11th and 15th Congressional districts. Election day is Tuesday. Ohio Secretary of State Frank LaRose said low turnout is pretty common in August special elections like this one because many people are on vacation and not thinking about voting…. Read More

Early voters at the Athens County Board of Elections on Oct. 6, 2020

New Bill Would Repeal Election Changes Made In New Budget

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COLUMBUS (Statehouse News Bureau) — There’s an effort underway to repeal provisions in the new two-year state budget that non-profit groups say will prevent them from educating Ohioans about the voting process. Gov. Mike DeWine and Sec. of State Frank LaRose, both Republicans, said they don’t think the language in the budget will prevent public-private collaboration on… Read More