Elections officials and lawmakers will be scrambling to deal with an Ohio Supreme Court decision on Friday. Ohio Public Radio’s Karen Kasler reports the high court ruled unanimously that Democrats can take the new Congressional district map to the ballot.
Democrats opposed the Republican-approved map that created 16 congressional districts out of 18 districts. Republicans had attached a spending provision to the Congressional map, which they thought had made it referendum-proof. Now Democrats will ask the Ohio Supreme Court to restart the 90 day window they have to gather signatures to take the map to the ballot next fall.
Democrats, who claim the map is excessively gerrymandered and unfair, now say Republicans have a choice – come back and redraw the map or throw next year’s election into chaos, since Ohio would have 16 congressional districts and no map to show the boundaries of them. Republicans have said Democrats want unelected federal judges to impose a map on Ohioans, and House Speaker Bill Batchelder issued a statement saying in part that lawmakers “are considering all options in order to protect the rights of the people of Ohio to participate in representative democracy.”