Voter groups ready to object to redrawn Ohio Statehouse maps

January 25, 2022 GMT

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Voting-rights and Democratic groups took their first steps Tuesday afternoon to argue once again that redrawn maps of Ohio legislative districts approved last week remain unconstitutionally gerrymandered.

Evidence to back up their objections was filed at the Ohio Supreme Court, where parties faced a midnight deadline to lay out their exact legal claims.

The high court tossed the commission’s first round of maps on Jan. 12, giving the panel 10 days to remove undue favoritism toward the GOP. A new set of maps was approved Saturday — and like the first time, it was OK’d along party lines. These latest maps likely deliver Republicans 57 of 99 Ohio House seats and 20 of 33 Ohio Senate seats.

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The groups that brought successful lawsuits include the ACLU of Ohio, League of Women Voters of Ohio, Common Cause, CAIR-Ohio and the National Democratic Redistricting Committee’s legal arm.

Justices have retained the right to review the new maps. The timeline for doing so is uncertain, given this is the first time Ohio has undertaken the new redistricting system approved by voters in 2015.

Time is short, though. The candidate filing deadline for Ohio’s May 3 primary is Feb. 2.