Witnesses critical of Ohio’s gerrymandered maps at hearing

Ohio

Areeqe Hammad, of Cleveland, testifies at the first public hearing of the Ohio Redistricting Commission at Cleveland State University, Monday, Aug. 23, 2021, in Cleveland. (AP Photo/Julie Carr Smyth)

CLEVELAND (AP) – More than 120 activists, scholars, pastors, students and average citizens attended the first hearing Monday of a new panel charged with redrawing Ohio’s state legislative districts for the next 10 years.

Most advocated new maps that are more fair and representative. Witnesses at the first of nine public hearings of the Ohio Redistricting Commission at Cleveland State University maligned the current gerrymandered maps.

The executive director of Free Ohio Now expressed a different point of view. Tom Hach complained that the commission’s hearing schedule doesn’t accommodate diverse perspectives, including those of Republicans.

The panel is supposed to draft new legislative districts by Sept. 1.

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