Proposed map gives GOP edge but let's voters decide outcome in 6 competitive seats
COLUMBUS - Today, Republicans rejected a compromise proposal for new congressional districts that would end a redistricting standoff and give voters the ultimate say in the makeup of Ohio's congressional delegation. The proposal was submitted in an effort to reach an acceptable agreement that would make 6 of the current districts more competitive for voters. A comparison of the Democratic Partisan Index of the original map, HB 319, the GOP proposed map and the Democratic counter offer can be seen here.
"We've put forth a reasonable proposal that recognizes the current political makeup, but gives voters the ultimate say in who represents them in Congress," said House Minority Leader Armond Budish (D-Beachwood). "Additionally, this is a fair proposal that avoids significantly breaking apart communities, strengthens the voice of Ohio voters and improves accountability through an increased number of competitive elections."
The proposal was put forth by Budish and Ohio Legislative Black Caucus President, State Rep. Sandra Williams (D-Cleveland). In addition, the proposal maintains the constitutionally required majority-minority district in Cleveland, improves the minority influence district in Franklin County, and creates minority influence districts in Cincinnati and Dayton.
"Our proposed map would have significantly improved the potential for minority representation in Ohio's major metropolitan areas," said Budish. "We had hoped that this reasonable proposal would be given serious consideration. Instead of working together, however, the GOP would rather continue their partisan overreach in an attempt to consolidate their political power in every way possible."
The new proposal increases the competitiveness in 6 of the current districts and further consolidates communities of interest in Columbus, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Dayton and Toledo. The map that is expected to be on the floor today creates few competitive districts from HB 319, which has been called one of the worst gerrymanders in modern memory.
"The proposal rejected by Republicans today provides a reasonable, common-sense approach to avoid a horrible partisan gerrymander and unnecessary uncertainty that would go along with a referendum," said Budish. "By creating six competitive districts, Republicans and Democrats would have an equal chance of success, and the voters would determine that success not the people who draw the lines."