Take a look at a map outlining the 16 congressional districts across Ohio, and you will find oddly shaped areas that divide cities, and in some cases span several counties with urban, rural and suburban populations.
Democrat U.S. Rep. Marcia Fudge’s District 11 is made up of 32 diverse municipalities in Cuyahoga and Summit counties, including Orange, East Cleveland, Bratenahl and Fairlawn.
Republican Dave Joyce’s District 14 borders Lake Erie and the Pennsylvania state line. He represents all of Ashtabula, Lake and Geauga counties and parts of Cuyahoga, Trumbull, Portage and Summit counties.
The ill-shaped districts defy logic and represent gerrymandering, the practice of arranging election districts in a way that gives one political party an unfair advantage.
Ohio’s 16 congressional districts have been represented by 12 Republicans and four Democrats since 2012.
The U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Ohio recently ruled that Ohio’s 2012 district map violates the Constitution due to partisan gerrymandering. Ohio lawmakers have until June 14 to redo the congressional districts created by Republicans in 2011. In response, Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost appealed the ruling to the U.S. Supreme Court. The High Court is expected to rule in June on gerrymandering cases from Maryland and North Carolina, which Mr. Yost said could impact Ohio’s case. Meanwhile, the June deadline remains in place.
We urge the state to drop its appeal and start redrawing Ohio’s congressional districts immediately. There is no reason for districts to zig zag through areas unless the goal is to keep one party in power.
Fair elections should not be a partisan issue. Voters of both parties and those not affiliated with either party deserve a system in which every vote counts. When Ohioans vote in the next congressional elections in November of 2020, they should be assured they are choosing their representatives instead of the other way around.