NDRC: Ohio GOP Wants to Use Taxpayer Money to Defend Gerrymandered Maps

Republican Supermajority Isn’t Concerned with Upholding Reform Measures

Yesterday, Republican Ohio Senate President Matt Huffman introduced an amendment to the omnibus budget that would give only the Speaker of the House and the Senate President the right to intervene in court – at public expense – if any congressional or legislative map is challenged.

“Instead of spending meaningful time preparing for and setting up a redistricting process that ensures all Ohioans have input, fairness, and transparency, Republicans are instead solely focused on how to protect their ability to gerrymander maps and potentially defend them in court,” said Molly Mitchell, National Democratic Redistricting Committee (NDRC) States Press Secretary.

“This amendment is yet another partisan power grab by the same Republican state legislators who gerrymandered their way into supermajorities. By limiting who can intervene in future legal challenges to new maps, Senator Huffman’s amendment contradicts what Ohioans overwhelmingly supported in two different reform measures. The main aims of those reforms were to remove this exact type of hyper-partisanship in the redistricting process and to ensure fairness by giving the minority party a real seat at the redistricting table,” continued Mitchell.

Notably, the amendment effectively denies Democratic map drawers the same opportunities. This language was added at the last minute and since the Ohio Senate budget bill has now already passed out of committee, not only was there no opportunity for Democratic members to debate or to offer a response for amendments, there was also no opportunity for Ohioans to weigh in via public discourse. The budget – with this partisan amendment attached – is now headed for passage from the Senate during their formal session later today.