COLUMBUS, Ohio — Editor's note: The video in the player above is from a previously published telling of this story.
Shortly after news broke Wednesday that Ohio's Supreme Court had sided with voting rights activists in the battle against Ohio's new redistricting map, Democrats and local leaders began reacting to the ruling.
The map, which created a supermajority for Republicans in Ohio's House of Representatives and Ohio's Senate, was highly contested by those on the left in the Buckeye State, and was taken to the state's highest court for unconstitutional gerrymandering. On Wednesday, the court gave the Ohio Redistricting Commission 10 days to recreate the map, stating that the new map must follow the provisions of a 2015 constitutional amendment requiring an attempt to avoid partisan favoritism.
Nan Whaley, former mayor of Dayton and current candidate in Ohio's gubernatorial race, released a statement on social media just minutes after the announcement, calling for an end to gerrymandering.
"More than 70% of Ohioans voted to end gerrymandering and a bipartisan majority on the Ohio Supreme Court just listened to them," Whaley said on Twitter. "Let's hope Gov. DeWine has the courage to do what is right this time and support fair, constitutional maps."
"Mike DeWine violated his oath. I never will. DeWine admitted the maps weren’t constitutional and yet he still voted for them," said Democratic Mayor of Dayton and gubernatorial candidate John Cranley. "I applaud the Ohio Supreme Court for overturning these rigged state legislative maps and respecting the voice of Ohioans."
Common Cause, a nonprofit organization dedicated to the protection of voting rights for American citizens, released the following statement to 3News regarding the Wednesday ruling out of Ohio's Supreme Court:
“This is welcome news for the people of Ohio. We have much more work to do to deliver fair and representative maps for Ohioans, and we are glad the Ohio Supreme Court agrees. Ohio voters overwhelmingly approved the rules for state legislative mapmaking in 2015. At public hearings held around the state, voters made clear that we deserve fair maps that comply with the criteria in the Ohio Constitution. That includes the requirement for representational fairness and a prohibition against drawing districts primarily to favor or disfavor a political party. We completely agree that the state legislative district maps passed by the Ohio Redistricting Commission failed to uphold the guarantees in the Ohio Constitution.
The Supreme Court has made clear today that our work is not over. It is more important than ever that Ohioans continue to show up in force to testify at hearings and participate in a robust public debate to ensure that the state legislative district maps serve the best interests of our communities.
We call on the Ohio Redistricting Commission to provide significant opportunities for public input, to conduct a process with full transparency, and to prioritize the needs of communities over the desire to win elections.
We look forward to working with the Ohio Redistricting Commission and the public to secure fair maps that strengthen our voting power to hold elected leaders accountable to our needs.”
Neither Ohio House Speaker Bob Cupp nor State Senate President Matt Huffman made wide public comments on Wednesday. Gov. Mike DeWine was also silent on the issue.
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