Republican-Led Redistricting Commission Ignores Ohio Supreme Court, Draws Unconstitutional Maps for Second Time

Las week, the Equal Districts Coalition, a group of over 30 Ohio advocacy organizations and labor unions engaged in the redistricting process — released the following statement condemning the Republican members of Ohio’s Redistricting Commission for once again passing unconstitutional legislative district maps:

“The Republican-controlled Redistricting Commission has once again willfully violated Ohio’s Constitution and rigged Ohio’s district maps to benefit their own political party. This time, however, they also ignored a ruling from a bipartisan majority of Ohio Supreme Court Justices.

“These new Republican-drawn maps do not meet the Supreme Court’s requirement that legislative maps reflect Ohio’s average statewide vote (54% Republican, 46% Democratic).

“The maps are also likely to be much further away from passing constitutional muster than Republicans claim. Republican mapmakers have labeled several districts as Democratic-leaning that would be better labeled as tossups. They did this while ensuring that most Republican-leaning districts will be nearly impossible for Democratic candidates to win.

“It is notable that Republican commissioners stalled until the last few moments of the Cincinnati Bengals game late on a Saturday night to pass their unconstitutional maps, when they knew the fewest Ohioans would be watching. They are ashamed — or at least know they should be.

“The coalition would like to express our sincere appreciation for the Democratic commissioners who voted against the unconstitutional maps. Ohio voters are fortunate to have leaders like Senator Vernon Sykes and Minority Leader-Elect Allison Russo fighting for them every day at the Statehouse.

“While we await the Ohio Supreme Court’s ultimate decision on these redrawn maps, we urge Ohioans to contact the commissioners to share their thoughts on tonight’s deeply upsetting vote.”