The deadline has passed and still no maps…
Thanks to everyone who joined our watch party yesterday. It was good to go through that challenging experience in community with others who care about fair districts and fair elections in Ohio!
“Uncharted” may be the most overused word in Ohio right now, but we are truly traveling where there is no map. GOP members of the Ohio Redistricting Commission voted down the maps put forward by Democrats, introduced no maps of their own, refused to even consider the fully-constitutional maps proposed by Fair Districts Ohio partners, and declared the entire process at an impasse. They claim it is impossible to draw maps that are both proportional and that follow the other constitutional requirements regarding splits, compactness, etc.
If the majority members of the commission had wanted to obey the Ohio Supreme Court, they would not have waited until the very last minute to meet. They could have invited nonpartisan experts to speak about how to best make districts that comply with the law. They could have at least tried to draw compliant maps, or worked together with Democrats to improve the maps they did not like.
Just to further complicate matters, late last night a group of Republican activists sued in federal court in an effort to have the first set of state legislative maps adopted by the commission be reinstated and adopted. Their petition also seeks to block state legislative elections until the previously rejected map is put back into place.
And then, mid-day today, the ACLU Ohio team filed a motion on the behalf of the League of Women Voters of Ohio asking the Commission to explain why it couldn’t pass a compliant plan, why they didn’t consider the Rodden maps, and also asking whether the Court could extend the candidate filing deadline. You can read their press release HERE.
Yes, a lot is happening. We will be in touch again when the dust has settled a little.
Thanks for staying in the fight for fair maps, and thanks for all you do!