Pictured is Ohio’s congressional delegation as it has looked after the 2012, ’14, ’16, ’18 and ’20 elections. The map will soon be redrawn.
Ohio’s sway in Congress ain’t what it used to be.
The Buckeye State will lose one congressional seat when the map is redrawn ahead of the 2022 elections, the U.S. Census Bureau announced Monday. Ohio will go from 16 seats to 15.
The U.S. House of Representatives has 435 total seats that are divided up among the 50 states based on population. Maps are redrawn and seats are reapportioned every 10 years to reflect the latest census data.
Ohio’s population grew slightly between the 2010 census and the one conducted in 2020, but is still losing a seat because other states’ populations grew at much larger levels.
A few years ago, Ohioans voted to reform the mapmaking system with an eye on transparency:
Delays in the release of detailed census data may cause some issues with this timeline. Some of the data used toward mapping out new districts is not scheduled to come until the fall, right around when Ohio is supposed to have its proposed maps drafted and voted upon. State legislative leaders are reportedly working on a suggested solution.
Ohio once had as many as 24 seats in the U.S. House of Representatives, but has slowly lost seats since the 1970s. The 15 seats that will be up for election in 2022, 2024, 2026, 2028 and 2030 cycles are the fewest Ohio has had since the 1830s.
Tyler Buchanan is an award-winning journalist who has covered Ohio politics and government for the past decade. A Bellevue native and graduate of Bowling Green State University, he most recently spent 6 1/2 years as a reporter and editor of The Athens Messenger and Vinton-Jackson Courier newspapers. He is a member of the BG News Alumni Society Board and was a 2019 fellow in the Kiplinger Program in Public Affairs Journalism.