COLUMBUS — Ohio Democratic Party Chairman David Pepper issued the following statement Friday after a three-judge panel from the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Ohio ruled that Ohio’s congressional map is an “unconstitutional partisan gerrymander” and must be redrawn by the 2020 election:
“We applaud the decision from the federal Southern District court today recognizing Ohio’s congressional map as an unconstitutional partisan gerrymander and calling for the map to be changed before the 2020 election.
“As a factual matter, this is a damning decision, confirming what we have said for a long time: through a secretive process, Ohio Republican leaders rigged elections in this state for the entire decade, depriving voters of a meaningful choice in almost every legislative election since 2011.
“Going forward, our state’s congressional districts must be fair and truly representative of Ohioans, and the redrawing of the map should begin right away. Unfair, partisan maps have poisoned Ohio and national politics for decades. Today’s decision is a victory for Ohio voters, a victory for fair, competitive elections and a victory for democracy.
“Now, current state leaders have a choice to make in response to today’s historic decision — they can at long last stand for democracy, or they can keep using taxpayer dollars to protect a shameful, rigged map that has deprived Ohioans of their constitutional rights for close to a decade.”