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'Fair Districts' Coalition Slams Ohio Redistricting Commission Maps

Ohio Redistricting commission meeting 090921
Andy Chow
Statehouse News Bureau
The Ohio Redistricting Commission meets to adopt a Republican-made map before further public hearings.

The League of Women Voters of Ohio says, if the maps were to remain the same, they would consider a legal challenge.

A coalition of voter rights advocates are criticizing the maps for House and Senate districts introduced by the Ohio Redistricting Commission. An analysis by the groups say the district lines retain a Republican supermajority.

The group, Fair Districts Ohio, says the House and Senate district maps drawn by Republicans would create a two-thirds majority for the party in both chambers, with few to no competitive races.

University of Cincinnati associate professor David Niven said the mapmakers did not meet several standards created by voter-approved reforms in 2015.

"Did they even try? Because this is a map that fails every academic test of gerrymandering. This map is almost the definition of gerrymandering," said Niven.

Republican leaders in the House and Senate say they didn't know the partisan breakdown of their maps before introducing them, a claim Democratic leaders call "disingenuous."

A ten-year review of statewide election results shows votes split about 54% Republican and 46% Democratic.

The Ohio Redistricting Commission will hold three hearings before possibly making changes to the map.

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