COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) — Redistricting is an ongoing battle at the Ohio Statehouse, even after the midterm elections have come and gone.
District maps were struck down by the Ohio Supreme Court several times before this year’s midterm elections, increasing the supermajority Republicans hold in the statehouse.
“The legislature at this point, 67% of the House seats are going to be Republican and almost 80% will be Republican on the Senate side,” Rep. Allison Russo (D-Upper Arlington) said. “That is not where Ohio is. Ohio continues to be a rigged state, gerrymandering absolutely has an impact.”
“Those maps favored Democrats,” Rep. Bill Seitz (R-Cincinnati) said. “We had a number of seats where our candidates prevailed in a district, at least according to the index, that was a Democrat district.”
Jen Miller from League of Women Voters of Ohio said the maps will likely start to get redrawn in the new year once the new general assembly is seated. However, she thinks the only way to ensure fair maps is by taking politicians out of the process.
“We need to have college professors and community leaders and face leaders, just a diverse group of people,” Miller said. “We need a balance of Democrats, Republicans and independents who are making these maps. And then I think we will finally see an end to gerrymandering.”
“When you win every statewide executive office, all three Supreme Court races, the U.S Senate race, those are statewide elections in which the Republicans won,” Seitz said. “You cannot have a gerrymander if it is a statewide election.”
Miller said drawing maps should not be political.
“It is not about whether its red or blue, it’s about are voters being respected, are we seeing districts that keep communities together that represent the people of Ohio,” Miller said. “Instead, what we have are districts that have been sliced and diced.”
Speaker Bob Cupp previously said the maps used in the Midterm Election are two-year maps. Miller said that was an agreeable assessment, but it is time to get started on new ones.