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Government & Politics

House Republicans wait for federal court ruling before making a decision on Ohio's second primary

House Speaker Bob Cupp (R-Lima)
Andy Chow
Statehouse News Bureau
House Speaker Bob Cupp (R-Lima) provides an update on the Ohio Redistricting Commission's plan for adopting a new congressional district map March 1.

House Speaker Bob Cupp (R-Lima) said he is leaving it up to the federal court to make its ruling on Ohio's new state legislative district maps before state lawmakers decide what happens next with a second primary.

Since the Ohio Redistricting Commission did not adopt maps that were found constitutional by the supreme court, the state legislative races were scrubbed from the May 3 ballot and a second primary is now imminent.

There are currently several moving parts in the redistricting process. The supreme court is deliberating on objections to a fourth district plan, and the federal court is keeping an eye on what the supreme court decides.

"Right now, I think it's kind of in the hands of the federal court, and we're watchful and sort of waiting to see what the federal court does," Cupp said.

Voter rights advocates, community organizations, and a national Democratic group have all filed objections to the fourth adopted plan. If the supreme court invalidates the state legislative district plan for a fourth time, then it is likely the federal court will step in.

Republican voters filed the case in federal court to ask U.S. district judges to make a decision on what maps Ohio should use.

The fourth adopted plan, approved by four of the five Republicans on the redistricting commission, is similar to the third plan with a few tweaks.

The maps create 54 Republican and 46 Democratic House districts and 18 Republican and 15 Democratic Senate districts. However, petitioners argue that the maps still unduly favor Republicans because of the disproportionate amount of Democratic districts that are toss-up races.
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