Minority Leader Emilia Strong Sykes (D-Akron) today issued a statement as Republicans passed a partisan, four-year congressional district map that unduly favors Republican candidates 13-2. Leader Sykes and House Democrats sent a letter to the governor urging his veto of the gerrymandered map.
“Ohioans and Democrats wanted to see a bipartisan, 10-year map, but as the process unfolded, it was clear Republicans had no intention of negotiating a compromise in good faith. Instead, Republicans betrayed Ohio voters by passing a gerrymandered district map that splits apart communities and unduly favors Republicans 13-2. This partisan map dismisses concerns raised by citizens over a number of months and disrespects the voters who demanded fair maps.
“This disastrous map is a result of failed Republican leadership, who time and again show they are unfit to lead our state. Republicans are teeing up a veto from the governor or a referendum by the people of Ohio who expected more from their government.”
Democrats offered a compromise set of district lines on the House floor Thursday, which they say better aligns with the fair district reforms voters passed in 2018. The Democratic amendment mirrored their compromise map, HB 483, and would have limited unwarranted splits in Ohio’s largest counties, kept more communities together, and better reflected the preferences of Ohio voters. The map also created three minority opportunity districts. Republicans rejected the good faith amendment.
Following the vote, Leader Sykes and House Democrats sent a letter to Gov. Mike DeWine urging a veto of the Republicans’ partisan 13-2 map, which they say “violates the Ohio Constitution and flouts the will of the people of Ohio who demanded fair districts that follow explicit, strict anti-gerrymandering requirements.”