COLUMBUS, OHIO – Yesterday afternoon, the petitioners that successfully sued and had the previous maps struck down, including Bennett et al and League of Women Voters of Ohio et al, submitted a set of constitutionally-compliant legislative maps to the Ohio Redistricting Commission, which is under court order to redraw the state House and Senate district maps.
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 identified January 22 as the official deadline to approve new plans, which are subject to review by the Ohio Supreme Court. Any objections to the final maps put forth by the Commission must be filed no later than 72 hours after a map is adopted.
“Our teams worked with redistricting experts and data analysts to create constitutional maps that are technically perfect, and that accurately reflect Ohio voter preferences and Ohio communities. We submit this exemplar plan to the Commission to illustrate that it is indeed possible to satisfy every constitutional requirement and draw a compliant map,” noted Freda Levenson, legal director for the ACLU of Ohio.
“It is critical that the Ohio Redistricting Commission produces a compliant plan this time around – one that both adheres to the technical map-drawing requirements and reflects voters’ preferences,” said Marina Jenkins, the NRAF’s Director of Litigation and Policy. “In its decision, the Ohio Supreme Court laid out a path for the Commission to do that, and this plan offers a fair and constitutionally-compliant map that more accurately reflects the will of the people. The Commission should give it due consideration.”
“We urge the commission to seriously consider these Ohio Senate and Ohio House maps that respect Ohio voters, the Ohio Constitution, and the mandate by 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.”
The proposed maps can be viewed below.