Statement of Catherine Turcer, Common Cause Ohio Executive Director
Earlier today, the Ohio State Supreme Court struck down gerrymandered Ohio House and Senate maps for an astonishing fourth time. The court’s decision is no surprise since these maps were nearly identical to the previous set of Ohio General Assembly maps that had already been ruled unconstitutional by the court.
The now-struck-down fourth Ohio House and Senate maps were created not by the Commission or the independent mappers, but by the GOP majority of the Ohio Redistricting Commission (Governor DeWine, Secretary of State LaRose, Speaker Cupp, and Sen. Pres. Huffman) in a secret process that directly contravened the court’s directive to work in a transparent and bipartisan fashion. The maps were produced just hours before the March 28 deadline in a bait-and-switch maneuver that killed the independent mappers’ district plans and sabotaged the first transparent redistricting process in the state.
Ohio voters are tired of being manipulated. It is time for the Ohio Redistricting Commission to take the orders from the Ohio Supreme Court seriously. We have been waiting for fair districts since 2015—when the new rules for mapmaking were overwhelmingly approved by voters. Ohio voters repudiated gerrymandering and put good rules in the Ohio Constitution to ensure fair maps going forward. We expect the members of the Ohio Redistricting Commission to abide by those rules, follow the Ohio Constitution, and obey the orders of the Ohio Supreme Court. The sooner the majority members of the Commission get to work and do their jobs as required, the sooner this redistricting nightmare will draw to a close, and Ohioans will finally be able to vote using the fair maps they need and deserve.