gerrymandering

Ohio’s top legislative leaders are being sued for not being transparent with the public in matters related to the state’s new voter-approved process for drawing new maps for Congress and the state House and Senate. 

CORY SHARBER / WVXU

This year Ohioans will see a new way of drawing Congressional districts in the state. Every 10 years, Ohio draws new district maps and the process has historically been a partisan affair, where districts are drawn to favor one party over another. But in 2015 and 2018, voters approved a new process meant to prevent gerrymandering.

The first release of data this week from the U.S. Census Bureau on last year’s head count confirmed speculation that Ohio will be losing one seat in the U.S. House of Representatives next year due to reapportionment. While Ohio’s population did grow, it did not keep pace with other parts of the country.

Jen Miller, executive director of the League Of Women Voters of Ohio says the loss of the seat should serve as a reminder for Ohioans about how important mapmaking is when it comes to congressional districts.

The League of Women Voters of Ohio is opposing a lawsuit filed by Ohio against the decision to hold back Census data till September 30 because of the pandemic and concerns about accuracy. But reports the clock is already ticking on starting the process to draw new maps for Ohio’s state House and Senate districts and for the U.S. Congress.

The year 2021 will bring a new mapmaking process for Ohio's state legislative and congressional districts. Voters approved reforms in the past five years to avoid gerrymandering, where districts are drawn to favor one party over another. And voter advocates say the time has come to make sure the process works.

The U.S. Supreme Court has ruled federal courts cannot judge if extreme partisan gerrymandering violates the constitution. 

The U.S. Supreme Court rejected challenges against two congressional maps in Maryland and North Carolina on Thursday, deciding that questions of partisan gerrymandering are outside the scope of courts.

Their decision likely spells the end for a similar challenge out of Ohio, whose congressional maps were ruled an "unconstitutional partisan gerrymander" by a lower court.

the supreme court in washington dc
J. Scott Applewhite / AP

Sometimes, when there is a hot-button issue before the nine justices of the U.S. Supreme Court, I am asked what I think the black-robed sages will do.

My answer is always the same.

The US Supreme Court has issued a stay that says Ohio and Michigan don’t have to draw up new Congressional district maps until after two rulings expected next month. 

The clock is ticking toward the deadline for Ohio lawmakers to redraw a new congressional district map that can be used for the 2020 election. A federal court has given the state until June 14th to do that but Republican Attorney General Dave Yost’s office is appealing the decision. Democrats are excited about the prospect of possibly having new maps in time for next November’s elections.

ce friday
Jim Nolan / WVXU

Ohio’s Congressional map is likely headed to the U.S. Supreme Court, after a panel of federal judges ruled it's unconstitutionally gerrymandered to favor one political party over the other. The Ohio legislature considers an abortion bill more restrictive than the "Heartbeat Bill" Governor Mike DeWine signed just last month.

A panel of three federal judges that ruled Ohio's Congressional district map is unconstitutional has denied a request from the state to delay their order to draw a new map next month. The state now plans to ask the U.S. Supreme Court to stay that decision.

Ohio’s Congressional map is likely headed to the US Supreme Court, after a panel of federal judges ruled it’s unconstitutionally gerrymandered to favor one political party over the other.

david niven
John Minchillo / AP

Last week, when a three-judge panel of the U.S. District Court for Southern Ohio found the congressional district map Ohio has been using since 2012 to be unconstitutional and rigged in favor of the Republicans, there was a disparate range of emotions from one end of the political spectrum to the other.

Ohio’s Attorney General filed a motion Monday to block a federal court decision throwing out the state’s congressional map.

A federal court has ruled that Ohio's congressional map is an "unconstitutional partisan gerrymander" and must be redrawn before the 2020 election.

ohio gerrymandering
Ohio Secretary of State

The state of Ohio is preparing to deliver its defense of the current Congressional district map in federal court. Plaintiffs say the map is unconstitutional because Republicans drew the map to favor their party, through what’s known as partisan gerrymandering.

ohio gerrymandering
Ohio Secretary of State

Arguing the current congressional map in Ohio violates voters' constitutional rights, the ACLU, League of Women Voters and others are suing the state. A trial before the U.S. District Court is scheduled to begin Monday.

The issue of gerrymandering — the ability of politicians to draw legislative districts to benefit their own party — burst into view as a major political issue in 2018.

Even as voters and courts vigorously rejected the practice this year, politicians in some states are doing their best to remain in control of the redistricting process. Critics argue that amounts to letting politicians pick their own voters.

cincinnati edition
Jim Nolan / WVXU

Ohio gubernatorial candidates Republican Mike DeWine and Democrat Richard Cordray win their party's primaries and prepare to face-off in the November general election. Ohio voters pass Issue 1, the proposal to end gerrymandering in the state, by a wide margin. Large donations to area churches from the foundation directed by Cincinnati City Councilman Jeff Pastor around the time of last November's election raise questions. And how a possible fare increase by Metro could leave many regular bus riders stranded at the curb.

The only statewide issue on the May primary ballot nearly didn’t make it – though it’s been talked about for decades. There's a long history of the complicated Issue 1, which some activists call a historic effort to change the way the map of Ohio’s Congressional districts is created.

Ohioans will vote May 8 on Issue 1, a plan to change the way Congressional districts are drawn in Ohio. The state is considered one of the most gerrymandered in the United States.