Residents of Ohio to weigh in on redrawing district maps this election with public hearings

Local News

COLUMBUS (WKBN) – Ohio is considered one of the worst gerrymandered states in the country, according to an Associated Press analysis.

But that could be changing soon and residents can weigh in on how new district maps are drawn through the redistricting process. It happens every census year.

The League of Women voters is hosting a contest. Here you can submit how you think local and congressional districts should be drawn.

“The way that these maps are drawn is really fueling polarization of government disfunction because when a lawmaker knows he or she will always hold their seat– they don’t have to listen to their voters. They can listen to their big donors. They can listen to extreme partisan interests and that doesn’t work for Ohioans,” said Jen Miller, a member of the League of Women Voters of Ohio.

There will be cash prizes totaling $3,250 and raffles for participants.

The contest runs through September 6. If you want to submit an entry just head over to the fair districts redistricting contest page by clicking here.

On Sunday, state Senator Teresa Fedor (D-Toledo) urged Ohioans to participate in the upcoming regional public hearings recently announced by the Ohio Redistricting Commission.

The Commission is responsible for drawing legislative maps and may also have a role in the drawing of congressional maps.

“I encourage all people from Toledo, regardless of their political affiliation, to attend or participate in one of the many public redistricting hearings that will be taking place throughout the state to share their thoughts and continue to stay informed throughout this process,” Fedor said. “We all deserve the power to vote politicians out of office when necessary. We all deserve the power to elect new, diverse, leadership that truly represent us. Redistricting impacts everyone, and every Ohioan would benefit from fair, representative districts.”

The hearings, which will take place throughout the state from Monday, August 23 through Friday, August 27, will provide Ohioans the opportunity to protect the future of Ohio’s state legislative districts by offering public testimony and submitting map proposals.

The Youngstown public hearing is first up on the list along with Cleveland.

The hearings will take place on the following days:

  • Monday, August 23 from 9:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.: Cleveland
  • Monday, August 23 from 2:30 p.m. – 5:30 p.m.: Youngstown
  • Tuesday, August 24 from 9:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.: Dayton
  • Tuesday, August 24 from 2:30 p.m. – 5:30 p.m.: Cincinnati
  • Wednesday, August 25 from 9:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.: Zanesville
  • Wednesday, August 25 from 2:30 p.m. – 5:30 p.m.: Rio Grande
  • Thursday, August 26 from 9:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.: Lima
  • Thursday, August 26 from 2:30 p.m. – 5:30 p.m.: Toledo
  • Friday, August 27 from 9:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.: Akron
  • Friday, August 27 from 2:30 – 5:30 p.m.: Mansfield

The full list of dates, times and locations for the hearings can also be found at redistricting.ohio.gov. Hearings will also be broadcast live on the Ohio Channel.

According to the commissioner, more hearings will be scheduled once a map has been proposed.

The commission members include Senator Sykes, Speaker Cupp, House Minority Leader Emilia Sykes (D-Akron), Senate President Matt Huffman (R-Lima), Governor Mike DeWine, Auditor Keith Faber and Secretary of State Frank LaRose.

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