Fair Districts Ohio June Volunteer Huddle Follow Up
Updates on Ohio’s Redistricting Struggle
Note: our meeting was the victim of a nasty (but most-likely random) Zoom bombing incident. We are changing up the meeting link and will have better/faster anti-hacking defenses in the future. Apologies to all, especially to those whose innocent names were used as part of the hack. We very much hope this does not happen in the future.
1. Ohio House and Senate Maps
- The fifth set of maps was struck down by the Ohio Supreme Court (OSC) 5/25/2022.
- Note: the 3rd & 5th sets of maps are identical – and the 4th set is almost identical.
- The OSC ordered the Ohio Redistricting Commission to draw a new map by 6/3/2022. The Commission didn’t even pretend to try.
- On 5/27/2022, a panel of federal judges dictated the use of the 3rd set of maps for 2022. This was a 2-1 decision with two Trump-appointed judges forming the majority.
- The federal judges set August 2nd as the date for our 2nd primary.
Dissent from Judge Marbley: “(In making this decision), the majority tables a watershed constitutional referendum, abrogates controlling decisions of the state Supreme Court, and unwittingly rewards the Commission’s brinksmanship over the rights of Ohio voters.”
From Justice O’Connor’s concurring opinion striking down the 5th set of Ohio House and Senate maps:
“The federal court determined that to avoid jeopardizing Ohioans’ right to vote, it would wait until May 28 before acting. But the federal court did not ‘stay [its] hand until May 28,’ as it stated it would, and leave the state to fix the crisis created by the commission’s own actions. Instead, the federal court provided the Republican commission members not only a roadmap of how to avoid discharging their duties but also a green light to further delay these proceedings by stating its intention to implement ‘Map 3’…, all the while acknowledging that this court had declared Map 3 to be invalid and unconstitutional.”
After the 3rd set of maps was finally adopted, additional lawsuits have appeared. This is in part because the GOP used information from the 2nd set of maps to draw candidates out of districts. Here is a list of new lawsuits:
- A lawsuit from would-be Democratic candidates challenging filing deadlines. They say the filing deadline should be 90 days before Aug. 2, or early May. LaRose told BOEs not to accept filings (2022-0661).
- A lawsuit in federal court from a would-be GOP candidate also challenging filing deadlines.
- A lawsuit from state Rep. Adam Miller about residency requirements. The date was set for 30 days after the 1st showing of the 3rd set of maps. (2022-0667).
- A criminal complaint from the Democratic candidate for attorney general against members of the ORC for dereliction of duty, claiming GOP commissioners “recklessly failed to perform a duty expressly imposed by law with respect to the public servant’s office.”
3. Ohio Congressional map
We voted 5/3 using this map although it may still be struck down as unconstitutional.
- Two active lawsuits.
- Awaiting Ohio Supreme Court ruling.
- View the docket here
4. Contempt Filings & SCOTUS Appeal
- A motion to enforce the 5/25/ruling requiring a new map was filed by the Bennett petitioners for the Commission failing to meet the 6/6/22 deadline for new General Assembly maps.
- The Ohio Organizing Collaborative filed a motion on 6/8/2022 in support of the Bennett petitioners motion, but asked for the Ohio Supreme Court to set an in-person hearing.
- LWV and ACLU also filed a motion on 6/8/2022 joining the other petitioners in asking the Court to enforce their 5/25 decision and require an in-person hearing.
- Also, an appeal went to SCOTUS over federal court decision on potential Voting Rights Act violations related to General Assembly districts
5. Actions you can take
- Write Letters to the editor or opinion piece
- Sign and share the Fair Districts Sign on Statement: bit.ly/OHFairMaps
- Share a graphic (from this folder) on social media
- Ask candidates if they support fair districts. How will they work to protect democracy?
- Share information about the Ohio Supreme Court. Common Cause Ohio has palm cards highlighting the importance of voting for Supreme Court candidates and voting down ballot. If you are interested in getting some cards to hand out at events this summer, contact Tiffany at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Help check voter registrations and register voters!
- Join our Election Protection team (Ambassadors, Peacekeepers, Social Media Monitors, Poll Monitors)
6. Save the date: SUN, Sept 18, afternoon/early evening
Volunteer Appreciation Picnic & Party at Alum Creek Park, Maple Shelter, below Dam area, 4189 Lewis Center Rd, Galena. More details to come soon.
7. From the Press
- Federal court implements Statehouse maps twice declared unconstitutional by Ohio Supreme Court by Ohio Capital Journal staff, 5/27/22
- Attorney general candidate files criminal complaint against Ohio GOP redistricting commissioners, by Ohio Capital Journal staff, 5/27/22
- With new maps, statehouse incumbents unchallenged despite redrawn districts by Josh Sweigart, Dayton Daily News, 5/29/22
- Would-be Democratic Ohio legislative candidates sue Secretary of State Frank LaRose to try to get on Aug. 2 ballot by Andrew Tobias, Cleveland.com, 6/02/22
- Ohio’s redistricting mess spawns wave of lawsuits challenging Secretary of State’s candidate guidance for Aug. 2 election, By Anddrew Tobias, Cleveland.com, 6/3/22
- New map erases primary competition for Ohio House, Senate races in Summit, Portage, by Doug Livingston, Akron Beacon Journal, 6/4/22
- Youngstown pastors, activist challenge Ohio legislative map in U.S. Supreme Court, by Mike Gautner, WFMJ, 6/7/2022
- Will courts allow more Ohio legislative candidates to run because of redistricting chaos? by Jessie Balmert, Columbus Dispatch, 6/7/2022
- New Ohio state House, Senate districts won’t last long: What comes next? by Jim Gaines, Dayton Daily News, 6/8/2022
8. Useful Links
- Link to Current Adopted General Assembly Maps
- Link to Rodden chart comparing sets of GA maps
- Link to Current Adopted Congressional Map
- Link to the Redistricting Timeline
Thanks for your continued activism. We hope to see you on the Huddle on July 13. No Huddle in August. We hope to see you in person in September!