NDRC: Census Lawsuit Shows Ohio Republicans Aren’t Serious About Fair Maps
Census Bureau Needs Time to Ensure Data for Redistricting is Accurate
Last week, Ohio’s Attorney General Dave Yost announced a lawsuit, State of Ohio v. Coggins et al, in an attempt to get the U.S. Census Bureau to release incomplete redistricting data earlier than the current timeline of September 30. Yost has claimed that the “federal government has chosen to drag its feet by delaying the release of census data instead of following the law,” but that is discounting the rationale behind why the Census Bureau is delaying the release of data — to make sure that even in the midst of a pandemic that has taken the lives of over half a million Americans, the count is as accurate as possible. The count is critical to ensuring that the maps Ohio has for the next decade accurately reflect the state’s communities.
“Attorney General Yost and the Republican-led state legislature are showing their true colors by suing the Census Bureau to release data early — if they cared at all about a fair redistricting process that truly reflects the people of the state, they would understand why it is critical the Census Bureau has the time they need to finish the count. It’s clear the Republicans’ highest priority is once again gerrymandering congressional and state legislative districts so they can unfairly hold onto power in the state,” said NDRC States Press Secretary Molly Mitchell.
“Republicans are now asking the Census Bureau to rush their work even though they’ve done absolutely nothing to prepare for the process that happens once the state receives the data. If Republicans try to use this delay as a reason to run on old maps, to use incomplete data, or to limit public input, the NDRC will work to stop them. After a decade of manipulated electoral districts that have given Republicans an unfair advantage, we are going to continue to do everything in our power to hold these elected officials accountable and put pressure on them to actually do their jobs and serve Ohioans,” Mitchell continued.