Today, Ohio Redistricting Commission Co-Chair Sen. Vernon Sykes (D-Akron) and House Minority Leader and Commission member Allison Russo (D-Upper Arlington) presented the most recent Democratic state legislative map proposal and reiterated that it is possible to draw fair maps that comply with all constitutional requirements and reflect the preferences of Ohio voters, as instructed by the Ohio Supreme Court.
“Our proposal shows that it is possible for the Commission to adopt proportional maps that are fully compliant with the Constitution,” Sykes said. “The Redistricting Commission must meet as soon as possible to give fair consideration to our proposal and adopt the fair maps Ohioans have demanded and the Court has ordered us to deliver, now twice.”
Chris Glassburn, the Democrats’ map consultant, presented Democrats’ most recent Ohio House and Senate districts proposal, which was filed with the Supreme Court on January 28 and later posted on the Ohio Redistricting Commission website. This was the first time the press was invited into the room where some of the map drawing has taken place and was given insight into Democrats’ map-drawing process. This was done in an effort to increase transparency in the redistricting process. The latest proposal, which Democrats have shared with the majority, meets the proportionality requirements and addresses concerns raised during the last Redistricting Commission meeting. In its February 7 ruling, the Court noted that this proposal is evidence that a more proportional map is possible.
“There is no question that there is a path forward to producing fair maps that meet the Constitution’s line-drawing rules and proportional fairness requirements, as we have demonstrated with our proposal today. It is not a lack of ability that is delaying this process, rather, Republicans lack the will to do what is constitutionally required to deliver the fair maps that Ohioans overwhelmingly demanded not once, but twice. Democrats are once again ready to negotiate in good faith to produce 10-year maps that meet the Constitutional requirements and do not favor any political party, and we hope that Republicans are ready to do the same,” Leader Russo said.
The Court instructed the Commission to draw a map that reflects Ohioans’ statewide voter preferences, with 54 percent of voters preferring Republican candidates and about 46 percent of Ohio voters preferring Democratic candidates over the last decade. Maps that reflect these preferences would have 45 Democratic and 54 Republican House seats and 15 Democratic and 18 Republican Senate seats.
Democrats reiterated that it is possible to administer a fair and organized primary election on May 3 if the Commission efficiently works together to draw proportional, constitutional state legislative and congressional maps. Democrats also called on majority Commission members to immediately reconvene the Redistricting Commission and share with Democrats any map proposals they have prepared so all Commission members and members of the public can analyze them and provide feedback in an open, transparent process.
Democrats’ Senate district proposal can be found here
. Their House district proposal can be found here