Ohio Redistricting Commission Holds Hearing to Begin Fifth Attempt at Mapmaking

Today, the Ohio Redistricting Commission will meet to consider Ohio’s General Assembly maps. The meeting is at 2 p.m. and will be broadcast via the Ohio Channel (ohiochannel.org). 

Yesterday, Ohio held its first primary, but state legislative districts were not included on the ballot due to the Commission’s failure to pass a Constitutionally compliant map that could withstand scrutiny from the Ohio Supreme Court. Four sets of maps have been struck down. 

“This meeting is being held 20 days after the fourth set of maps was struck down by the Ohio Supreme Court, and just two days before the deadline the Court set for the Ohio Commission to draw a fifth set of maps. They are demonstrating with their actions how little they respect the Court’s ruling and the will of the Ohio people,” Catherine Turcer, executive director of Common Cause Ohio, said. “Redistricting is not a game. The Commission needs to get to work right away. They should use what was done by the independent mappers that Ohio taxpayers shelled out $100,000 for and finish up that work as soon as possible.”

Ohioans across the state remain united in their message and demand for fair maps that keep communities together without unfairly favoring one political party over another. Ohio voters overwhelmingly approved putting an end to gerrymandering back in 2015 and 2018, and now it’s time for the Commission to deliver fair maps. 

Ohioans have been waiting since 2015 for fair state legislative maps and continue to put pressure on the Ohio Redistricting Commission. At an April 25 rally for Fair Maps and Fair Elections, a variety of speakers from all across Ohio came together and spoke up for fair maps and elections. You can read some of their messages below and also see video clips. 

Watch Libby Hostetler of Allen County:

“As a lifetime voter in Allen County —who unfortunately at this point, voted for home boys Huffman and Cupp — I’ve seen enough. I’ve seen enough bullying and forcing commission colleagues to march to their drummer even if it’s breaking the law. I’ve seen enough of delaying tactics,” Hostetler said. 

Watch Greg Moore of the Promise of Democracy Foundation, the Ohio Voter Fund, and co-chair of the Ohio Citizens Redistricting Commission talk about the struggle to get rules prohibiting gerrymandering in the Ohio Constitution and then implement fair districts

“Some of us have been working on this for years and some of us have been working on it for decades, so we’re not going to quit,” Moore stated. “I would say this: I think we are going to win the fight. It’s going to take a little more time, but eventually, we are going to win this fight. And it’s going to be the people of Ohio who should be celebrated and thanked for preserving and not giving up.”

Watch Deacon Nick Bates of the Hunger Network in Ohio:

“We want every voice to matter and every vote to count. The problem is when you gerrymander districts, you can create districts that are safe for one party or one specific politician to win,” said Deacon Bates. “And then those politicians are more loyal to the mapmakers and those people who are funding those mapmakers than are to the people in their communities.”

Watch Rev. Dr. Jack Sullivan, Jr. of the Ohio Council of Churches

“We love Ohio. Ohio is our home. We will not be muted. We are not going away,” said Rev. Dr. Jack Sullivan, Jr. “Commission members, we see you … Produce maps that are consistent with the Constitution and the will of the people.”

Watch Rev. Derrick Holmes of the Amos Project:

“Pass fair maps in order to serve and represent people in the way they deserve to be served and represented. Pass fair maps because the current maps are unconstitutional and immoral,” state Rev. Holmes.  “Pass fair maps because another day we wait is another day too long. Pass fair maps now.”