Ohio redistricting panel cites Census data lag for inaction

Ohio
Ohio redistricting

Ohio House Democratic Leader Emilia Sykes, Senate President Matt Huffman, House Speaker Bob Cupp, both Republicans, and Democratic state Sen. Vernon Sykes speak to Auditor Keith Faber at the Ohio Statehouse in Columbus, Ohio, ahead of the first meeting Friday, Aug. 6, 2021, of the Ohio Redistricting Commission on which they all sit. (AP Photo/Julie Carr Smyth)

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — The closely watched panel pivotal to redrawing Ohio’s congressional and legislative districts has kicked off with a whimper.

Officials again pointed Friday to delayed release of 2020 Census figures even as the clock on their September deadlines continues ticking.

Republican Gov. Mike DeWine convened the high-powered Ohio Redistricting Commission for a Statehouse hearing that lasted about 7 minutes. That included administration of oaths to its members. Republican House Speaker Bob Cupp and Democratic state Sen. Vernon Sykes, of Akron, were appointed co-chairs.

Cupp announced nine upcoming public meetings around the state. Dates and locations were not yet available.

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