COLUMBUS (WCMH) — Late Wednesday at the Statehouse, the Ohio Redistricting Commission passed new state senate and house maps with a 5-2 partisan vote.
The new lines are expected to preserve a Republican supermajority in the General Assembly. Advocates say they are disappointed the process didn’t result in what they consider “fair maps” and call the new maps gerrymandered.
“They voted for a fair process, they voted for fair maps and unfortunately, that’s not what they got,” said Jeniece Brock, Vice-Chair of the Ohio Citizens Redistricting Commission.
On Thursday, commission member and Senate President Matt Huffman said they followed the rules of the constitution and did it under a tight deadline. He questions those who call this map gerrymandered.
“The definition of gerrymandering is to draw districts that favor one political party or the other. Every map submitted by anybody have districts in it that favor one party over another,” said Huffman, R-Lima.
Fair-map advocates say this fight is not over and it could lead them all the way to the Ohio Supreme Court.
“We’re not going to stop whether it’s the court, whether it’s more ballot initiatives, we’re not going to stop until we finally end partisan gerrymandering,” said Jen Miller, executive director of the League of Women Voters of Ohio.
Huffman says they acted in good faith and if people are unhappy with the process, change it.
“If they don’t like what this process is obviously, they can go to the ballot and try to change the process,” said Huffman.
Ohioans have already voted twice to change the process over the past decade, and groups like the League of Women Voters say they’ll do it again.