Republican Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine has signed a new map of congressional districts into law
COLUMBUS, Ohio — Republican Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine signed into law a map of new congressional districts on Saturday that might be in impact for the subsequent 4 years, regardless of objections from Democrats and voting rights teams.
DeWine mentioned in an announcement that, in contrast with different proposals from Home and Senate lawmakers from each events, the Senate laws he signed “makes essentially the most progress to provide a good, compact, and aggressive map.”
Democrats blasted the Republican-led mapmaking course of as unfair, partisan and cloaked in secrecy. The Senate authorized the invoice Tuesday, solely about 16 hours after the new map was launched. The nonpartisan Princeton Gerrymandering Challenge gave the map an F grade.
The new law creates at most three secure Democratic districts out of 15 new U.S. Home seats in a state the place voters are cut up roughly 54% Republican, 46% Democratic.
Populous Cuyahoga and Hamilton counties — house to Cleveland and Cincinnati, respectively, and their concentrations of Democratic voters — are divided 3 ways every. Franklin County, house to Columbus, is split two methods, and the western Cleveland suburbs in Lorain County are a part of a district that stretches to the Indiana border, an almost 3-hour drive.
DeWine, nevertheless, mentioned Saturday that the new map “has fewer county splits and metropolis splits” than current proposals and the present congressional map. He mentioned it retains Lucas and Stark counties and the Mahoning Valley inside single congressional districts “for the primary time in many years” and retains Akron, Canton, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Dayton, and Toledo “all entire inside the identical congressional map for the primary time for the reason that 1840s.”
State Rep. D.J. Swearingen, a Republican, defended the map throughout debate Thursday as honest, constitutional and never unduly favoring both political occasion or its incumbents. He echoed the arguments of sponsoring GOP Sen. Rob McColley in calling the plan superior in competitiveness and within the spirit of a 2018 constitutional modification.
“In case you have the proper candidate on the proper points, you possibly can win a aggressive district,” McColley mentioned. “Whereas, the Democratic map that was supplied within the Home supplied a decided consequence.”
Truthful Districts Ohio, a coalition of voting-rights teams and labor organizations, had referred to as on the governor to strike down the invoice. Govt director Jen Miller of the League of Girls Voters of Ohio, a member group, mentioned as an alternative of “bipartisan, clear redistricting” leaders had “disrespected voters, trampled the Ohio Structure and rigged the congressional map to serve partisan, political operatives moderately than pretty symbolize Ohioans.”
The Ohio Democratic Social gathering on Saturday blasted the governor for signing the invoice, with occasion chair Elizabeth Walters accusing DeWine of “bare, partisan self-interest.”
“DeWine and the Ohio GOP are doing all the things and something they’ll to stop voters from holding them accountable on the poll field whereas they proceed to betray Ohioans at each flip,” Walters mentioned.
Dayton Mayor Nan Whaley accused the governor of being “extra occupied with sustaining political energy and appeasing his occasion forward of a contentious main than respecting the need of Ohioans.”
Underneath a new course of established beneath a well-liked 2018 constitutional modification, making a 10-year map — the perfect — would have required strong Democratic assist. With out it, the plan will final solely 4 years.
States should redraw their congressional districts each 10 years to replicate new inhabitants numbers. Underneath this 12 months’s U.S. Census outcomes, delayed as a result of coronavirus pandemic, Ohio misplaced one seat in Congress beginning subsequent 12 months, taking it from 16 to fifteen.
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