COLUMBUS — House Democrats today released a draft map of congressional districts they say is a more realistic vision for Ohio compared to the widely criticized House and Senate Republican maps, both of which unduly favor Republican candidates 13-2.
“Ohioans are right to be angry that Republicans are again trying to gerrymander the state with their 13-2 partisan maps. House Democrats have a plan that keeps our largest communities together, has compact district lines and ensures that communities that live, work and play together remain together. Ours is a good faith attempt to deliver the fair map voters demanded of us, and a realistic starting point to get to a 10-year map,” said Minority Leader Emilia Strong Sykes (D-Akron).
Legislators in the House Government Oversight and Senate Local Government and Elections Committees heard hours of testimony this week in opposition to the partisan Republican congressional maps. Ohioans and Democrats have expressed concerns that the GOP maps unduly favor Republican candidates, split apart urban counties and lack any sense of compactness. In its current form, the House Republican map would not meet the threshold of minority support required for a 10-year map, resulting in the adoption of a 4-year, partisan map.
“Voters are dismayed by the brazen partisanship of the Republican maps released this week, which intentionally and unduly favor Republican candidates 13-2. That’s textbook gerrymandering,” said Assistant Minority Whip Rep. Richard D. Brown (D-Canal Winchester), one of the sponsors of the Democratic proposal.
“Democrats listened to the voters, incorporated their feedback, and are introducing a realistic proposal that keeps our largest counties together, ensures communities that live, work and play together stay together, and reflects the preferences of Ohio voters.”
House Democrats intend to present their proposal during a hearing of the House Government Oversight Committee. Democrats say their map limits unwarranted splits in Ohio’s largest counties, keeps more communities together, and better reflects the preferences of Ohio voters.
“The Republican map as drawn is a mess. It’s partisan. It splits apart our largest counties. It’s been widely criticized by all sides,” said Rep. Tavia Galonski (D-Akron), one of the sponsors of the Democratic map draft. “Democrats are offering a realistic alternative that addresses issues raised by Ohioans. Our plan is compact, it eliminates the splitting of our largest counties, and reflects the preferences of voters. It’s a reasonable starting place to put us on a clear path to a bipartisan 10-year map.”