This week we saw movement in two key areas crucial for democracy. The Supreme Court heard oral arguments in Ohio’s case about the purging of voters from registration lists, and State lawmakers unveiled their proposal for redistricting reform.
Republicans say the plan is “designed to limit partisan gerrymandering,” however criticism immediately flowed in from all directions.
“It would easily be possible to construct a 12-3 Republican map using these rules,” said Richard Gunther, Ohio State University political science professor emeritus, who has worked with the Fair Districts coalition. “This would enshrine rules that are extremely unfair that would perpetuate one-party domination of our congressional delegation.”
Rather than simply taking the partisans out of the process, the Republican plan creates convoluted rules for approval of any map, contingent on a minority of the minority party’s support.
Adding insult to injury, Statehouse Republicans have timed their announcement to muddy the waters and cause confusion around the efforts of the Fair Districts coalition, which has been gathering signatures for months in preparation for a November ballot issue. By racing to get their proposal on the May primary ballot, they hope to take advantage of progressives who support redistricting reform and assume that the language aligns with the GOP proposal.
Today, call your State legislators and let them know you do NOT support their partisan proposal for redistricting, and instead that you SUPPORT the Fair Districts Coalition’s language.
Look up your State Legislator here.