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Voting rights bill needed to stop Republican gerrymandering

Protesters rally outside the U.S. Supreme Court in Washington for fair elections and fair voting districts. AP Photo/MANUEL BALCE CENETA

Once again, the path to power in Washington runs through Ohio — and Republicans seem willing to openly violate state law in order to win.

If their plan succeeds, Republicans could steal enough seats from Ohio alone to take control of Congress. 

Desiree Tims serves as president and CEO of Innovation Ohio.

Ohio’s Supreme Court recently heard oral arguments on new Statehouse district maps, which Republicans drew to significantly advantage their own party, in violation of Ohio’s Constitution. 

Line-drawing:Small group of GOP lawmakers, mapmakers controlled congressional line-drawing, depositions show

Several lawsuits have been filed against the new congressional maps as well, and those cases will likely be argued in early 2022. 

Hasan Kwame Jeffries is an associate professor at The Ohio State University, teaching courses on civil rights and the Black Power movement.

Voters overwhelmingly passed Ohio’s new congressional redistricting system in 2018. It created a multi-step process that was supposed to result in fair maps.

New redistricting process:Ohio is using a new process to draw state, congressional districts. Here’s how it works

If the new system had worked as intended, Republicans would end up with about 55% of Ohio’s seats in Congress, reflecting the average statewide vote over the past decade. Ohio would send eight Republicans and seven Democrats to Congress in 2023. 

But that’s not what happened.

Instead, Ohio’s Republican-dominated legislature and redistricting commission ignored the law, repeatedly missed constitutional deadlines, and refused to allow adequate time for public input.

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