COLUMBUS, OHIO – Late last night, Bennett et al and League of Women Voters of Ohio et al, two groups of petitioners who successfully sued twice and had the previous commission plans struck down, submitted a constitutionally-compliant legislative plan to the Ohio Redistricting Commission, which is under court order to redraw the state House and Senate district maps. This is now the Commission’s third attempt to adopt a legislative plan.
The plan, submitted by Bria Bennett on behalf of the Bennett petitioners and the League of Women Voters of Ohio petitioners, satisfies every technical line-drawing rule set forth in Article XI of the Ohio Constitution, as well as the constitutional requirements that the seat share correspond closely to voters’ statewide preferences and that the plan avoid primarily favoring or disfavoring one political party. Using the same recent statewide election data that the Commission used to draw its own maps, the petitioners’ plan is likely to result in 56 Republicans and 43 Democrats being elected to the Ohio House of Representatives, and 18 Republicans and 15 Democrats being elected to the Ohio Senate.
The seven-member Commission has until this Thursday, February 17 to approve a new plan, which must be submitted to the Ohio Supreme Court for review by 9am on Friday, February 18. Any objections to the final maps put forth by the Commission must be filed by 9am on Tuesday, February 22.
“Commission members have claimed that the Commission has yet to see a map that is both proportional and constitutional. Well, here is an example of one. We submit this exemplar plan to the Commission to make perfectly clear that it is indeed possible to satisfy every constitutional requirement and draw compliant maps,” noted Freda Levenson, legal director for the ACLU of Ohio.
“We urge the commission to seriously consider these state Senate and House maps that respect Ohio voters, the Ohio Constitution, and the rulings of the Ohio Supreme Court,” stated Jen Miller, Executive director of the League of Women Voters of Ohio. “Our representative democracy works best when we can all participate and have our voices heard. These maps do that by keeping communities together and responding to the will of voters.”
Read the Cover Letter sent to the Commissioners and view the proposed maps below.