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Politics & Government

Lawsuits Expected After Ohio's New Congressional Map Signed Into Law

Sen. Rob McColley (R-Napoleon) presents a new Congressional district map, drawn by the Senate Republican Caucus.
Andy Chow
/
Ohio Public Radio
Sen. Rob McColley (R-Napoleon) presents a new Congressional district map, drawn by the Senate Republican Caucus.

Legal challenges are expected after Saturday’s signing of the first Ohio Congressional map created under a voter-approved process that was supposed to take the overt partisanship out of redistricting.

Critics say the gerrymandered map, which passed with no Democratic votes, was drawn in a secretive process that unfairly benefits Republicans.

In his statement on signing the map, Gov. Mike DeWine said it was better than other proposals. But experts say it will likely mean Republicans will win in 12 of the 15 districts – that’s 80%, though Republicans won in 2016, 2018, and 2020 with just over half the vote.

According to "Dave's Redistricting," a national analytical tool, the Congressional district map creates five districts where Republican voters outnumber Democratic voters by more than 20%, and two districts where Republican voters outnumber Democratic voters by more than 10%.

There are six districts where the margin between registered Republicans and Democrats is below 10%. Of those districts, five lean in favor of Republicans.

Jen Miller is with the League of Women Voters, which is already suing over the maps for the Ohio House and Senate approved in September, which had also been drawn under a new process designed to be less partisan.

"The rules are clear. This map absolutely violates the Ohio Constitution and the will of the people. And we are looking at our next steps, including challenging this case in the Ohio Supreme Court.”

This weekend Democratic elections attorney Marc Elias, who has challenged voting laws and maps in other states, tweeted out a story about the signing and commented “Ohio will be sued.”