Ohio Democrats vowed to file a legal challenge after Republicans on the Ohio Redistricting Commission approved a new district mp that would give the GOP a veto-proof majority in both chambers of the state legislature, The Cincinnati Enquirer reports.
The commission voted 5-2 down party lines to produce a map that is expected to result in a 62-37 Republican majority in the state House and a 23-10 majority in the state Senate.
Gov. Mike DeWine, Secretary of State Frank LaRose, and state Auditor Keith Faber, all Republicans, criticized the map but ultimately voted to approve it.
Though the state has trended more Republican, it’s not as overwhelmingly Republican as the majorities would suggest. The state voted for Donald Trump over Joe Biden by 8 points in the 2020 election but just two years earlier re-elected Democratic Sen. Sherrod Brown by a similar margin.
"The commission determined that the statewide preferences of the voters of Ohio predominantly favor Republicans," the majority of the commission wrote in their statement.
Voting groups vow lawsuits:
Democrats on the commission criticized Republicans for ignoring their proposals.
"Democratic solutions went unheeded while the Republicans made only token changes to their maps that appeared designed to protect their incumbents," Democrats said in their statement.
Multiple voting rights groups have vowed to challenge the maps in the Ohio Supreme Court, which has a 4-3 Republican majority.
Fair Districts Ohio, which includes the League of Women Voters of Ohio and Common Cause Ohio, is reviewing the maps to determine next steps.
“The Ohio Redistricting Commission missed a momentous opportunity to restore faith in our democratic republic,” said Jen Miller, executive director of the League of Women Voters of Ohio.
Even Republicans unhappy:
“Tonight, it has become clear to me that there will not be a compromise,” DeWine said Wednesday. “It’s clear in talking to both sides that there’s not going to be an agreement, and that we could go tomorrow or the next day or the next day, and it simply was not going to occur.”
"We know that this matter will be in court," he added. "What I am sure in my heart is that this committee could have come up with a bill that was much more clearly constitutional. I'm sorry that we did not do that."
“I’m casting my yes vote with great unease,” LaRose said. “I fear we’ll be back in this room very soon.”