Tue September 13, 2011
Details Of Proposed Redistricting Map Revealed
New U.S. House districts proposed by Ohio Republicans include one that stretches from Toledo to Cleveland, and a crescent touching parts of 13 counties from Appalachia to Amish country.
In the Miami Valley, Republicans Mike Turner and Steve Austria would both be in the new 10th state district.
Democrats lined up to criticize such boundary decisions Tuesday, as the eagerly-awaited map was described.
State Rep. Teresa Fedor says a district that snakes along Lake Erie looks like "the green thing from the swamp." She says the map makes no sense to anyone who isn't a politician.
Elections Committee Chairman Matt Huffman says many factors were taken into account when drawing the districts, and oftentimes those factors conflict.
Ohio House Democratic Leader Armond Budish backed out of an agreement to move the state's 2012 presidential primary ahead of Tuesday's hearing in a protest of a timetable he says was rushed.
Budish said Tuesday that redistricting hasn't been transparent. At a result, he says his fellow Democrats won't support a bill to switch the 2012 primary date from March to May.
House Republicans hold a 59-40 majority. Seven Democratic votes are needed for the primary switch to take effect immediately. The change has been seen as noncontroversial and necessary to give lawmakers enough time to complete redistricting.
Lawmakers had voted to move the primary as part of an elections overhaul, but opponents have launched a ballot repeal effort against the new law.