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Ohio Supreme Court rules current Legislative district maps are unconstitutional; local legislator weighs in on verdict

The district maps, passed by Governor Mike DeWine in 2021, gave republicans some 80% of the voting electorate
Credit: Ohio Supreme Court
Ohio Supreme Court

TOLEDO, Ohio — Ohio State Senator Teresa Fedor from Toledo's district 11 says that the rejection of these legislative maps is a huge win for fair elections in the Buckeye State.

"This ruling really favors fairness, and it's a ruling that says we no longer want to live with gerrymandered districts," said the Senator.

Senator Fedor explained that the court's decision comes from an amendment in the Ohio constitution that says district maps need to reflect the preferences of the state's citizenry.

"That's resulted in a ratio of approximately 54% Republican, and 46% Democratic voters," Senator Fedor explained.

However, following Ohio's last census in 2020, the lines were redrawn and passed by Governor Mike DeWine. The new maps gave Republicans some 80% of the voting electorate, this violated the amendment.

But election integrity groups like Common Cause Ohio and the League of Woman Voters noticed the discrepancy and took action.

"Some voters across Ohio sued and said, hey this is a partisan gerrymander, all you have to do is look what's in the Ohio constitution, and because of what's in the constitution, it immediately goes to the Ohio supreme court," explained Catherine Turcer, the executive director for Common Cause Ohio.

On Wednesday the 12th, The Ohio Supreme Court agreed that the maps were unconstitutional, and ordered the Ohio Districting Committee to redraw the district maps within 10 days of their decision. 

Turcer says the ruling isn't a partisan victory for democrats, but rather a return to a healthy level of competition for both parties.

"There are some sections of the State that will be blue, and some sections of the state that are going to be red, but none of us should be manipulated. None of those district lines should be manipulated," Turcer stated. 

However, Ohio's district mapping issues aren't over yet.

The Ohio Supreme Court will soon hear a similar case for Ohio's congressional maps, which have also been accused of leaning heavily in favor of republicans. But it is unclear at this time when they will receive a ruling.

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