Oct 3, 2023 - News

New legislative maps create tossup districts in Cleveland suburbs

Side by side maps of Ohio's new state legislative maps (L: House, R: Senate) in the Cleveland area

New state House of Representatives (left) and state Senate maps adopted Sept. 26. Maps: Courtesy of the Ohio Redistricting Commission and the Dave's Redistricting App

Ohio's political mapmakers finally reached consensus last week to approve new state legislative districts, but the ongoing redistricting saga is not yet over.

Why it matters: The Ohio Redistricting Commission's unanimous vote means the new maps will be in place for the rest of the decade, barring any successful legal challenges or redistricting reform ballot proposals, Axios Columbus reports.

State of play: Republicans hold 70% of legislative seats despite earning around 56% of the statewide vote in recent election cycles and could retain their supermajorities under the new maps.

  • Groups like Common Cause Ohio and the ACLU of Ohio are considering filing lawsuits, cleveland.com reports.

Zoom in: Democrats hold 10 of 11 Cuyahoga County districts in the House of Representatives but could fare worse going forward.

  • The 2024 map still features 11 local districts, but the southwestern suburbs have been redistributed, creating two new "tossup" districts.
  • Based on recent electoral history, Democrats would probably win seven to 10 seats.

In the Ohio Senate, the two parties currently split four Cuyahoga County districts.

  • The 2024 map again features four districts, with two strongly favoring Democrats and two leaning slightly Republican.

What's next: Activists are pursuing redistricting reform for next year's ballot that would remove politicians from the process.

Yes, but: Some fair maps advocates fear that because Democrats on the commission voted in favor of the new districts, it undermines the argument that Republicans hold unfair control over map designs.


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