Ohio’s Redistricting Complicated by Census Data Delay

The 2020 Census data released this week was state-level only. Localized data showing what parts of Ohio have lost or gained population — information that is necessary to redraw Ohio’s legislative and congressional districts — won’t be released until Sept. 30. (Normally, the localized data arrives by April 1.)

Due to this delay, Ohio lawmakers can’t meet their Sept. 1 mapping deadline set by the Ohio Constitution, says Senate President Matt Huffman (R-Lima) — especially under the new redistricting rules that voters approved in 2015 and 2018. Huffman is proposing a constitutional amendment to let lawmakers set their own redistricting deadlines when the Census data isn’t available on time. The General Assembly must act quickly since changing the state Constitution requires voter approval — and May 5 is the deadline to place the question on the ballot for the Aug. 3 election, the next regularly scheduled election. 4/27/2021