ICYMI: Ohio’s GOP is about to Pull Another Fast One on Redistricting: Howard Wilkinson Analysis
September 12, 2023
Columbus, OH – In case you missed it, WVXU’s Howard Wilkinson today penned an analysis outlining Ohio Republicans’ repeated refusal to follow the law on redistricting, pushing through GOP-gerrymandered maps and letting politicians choose their voters rather than the other way around. As the redistricting process is set to begin again, Ohio Democrats are reminding any out-of-touch GOP politicians looking to once again gerrymander our state: voters are watching and ready to remove them from the process if they ignore the law.
“Then there is the question that LaRose and his fellow Republicans on the commission will not answer: You have known since May of last year — 16 months ago — that you would have to approve new maps. Why wait until the last minute? The only possible answer is that they wanted to create a false sense of urgency to do something they fully intended to do all along — pass maps with little public input, with no real role for the commission Democrats to play, all in order to preserve the Republican dominance of Ohio’s government. There is no other way to explain it,” writes Wilkinson.
“Last year, Republicans on the commission repeatedly ignored Court rulings and deadlines, stalling and delaying – despite repeated calls from Democrats to meet – and ultimately relying on politically-friendly judges to temporarily rubberstamp their maps and implement GOP-gerrymandered maps for 2022. Now, as we begin the process again, voters will be watching carefully to see if these out-of-touch politicians once again try to force through gerrymandered maps in a shortened timeframe that limits public input and rigs Ohio’s democracy against voters. If they do, we are ready to take the process out of the hands of politicians and back into the hands of the people,” said Matt Keyes, spokesperson for the Ohio Democratic Party.
Read more about how Republicans have broken the redistricting process here.
And read more from Wilkson here and below:
- Once again, the best advertisement for taking Ohio’s redistricting process out of the hands of elected officials is the Republican majority on the Ohio Redistricting Commission.
- The seven members of the commission — five of whom are Republican elected officials — will be meeting in a hastily-arranged session Wednesday to begin the process of coming up with new maps for state legislative districts in 2024.
- Any maps produced by the Republicans now will likely be rubber-stamped by the court’s GOP majority.
- So why bother to produce balanced maps that truly reflect the partisan split of Ohio? They are free to adopt maps that will not only set in stone the GOP supermajority in the legislature but satisfy their own personal political interests.
- “There is no sincere interest in a sincere process, but it is best not to just come out and say so,” said David Niven, professor of political science at the University of Cincinnati. “Therefore, it’s time to issue urgent deadlines.”
- Then there is the question that LaRose and his fellow Republicans on the commission will not answer: You have known since May of last year — 16 months ago — that you would have to approve new maps. Why wait until the last minute?
- The only possible answer is that they wanted to create a false sense of urgency to do something they fully intended to do all along — pass maps with little public input, with no real role for the commission Democrats to play, all in order to preserve the Republican dominance of Ohio’s government.
- There is no other way to explain it.
- Is this what 71% of Ohio voters wanted in 2015 when they created the commission as a redistricting reform measure?
- Not even close.
- Maybe it’s time for Ohio to stop letting the politicians chose their voters and let the voters choose their politicians.