Ohio Secretary of State: Redistricting Ohio Before 2020 Election Could ‘Hurt’ Voter Turnout

Ohio Secretary of State Frank LaRose stated on Thursday that he was against Ohio redrawing its district lines before the 2020 presidential election. It was a statement that surprised many, considering he made it at a voting rights forum, hosted by the Ohio League of Women Voters who are currently suing Ohio in the hope of having the state lines redrawn.

As reported earlier, in May of 2018, several groups, led by the Ohio League of Women Voters formally filed suit against the Buckeye State, specifically noting;

an unconstitutional partisan gerrymander that violates the First Amendment, the Fourteenth Amendment, and Article I of the United States Constitution….the most egregious gerrymanders in recent history.

In his last days as Attorney General, Mike DeWine, who is currently serving as Ohio’s Governor, attempted to have the suit thrown out. The current Attorney General, Dave Yost, is now arguing to have the case delayed. The most effective argument made for the delay has been the United States Supreme Court’s January 4th announcement that it will hear two gerrymandering cases jointly, one from North Carolina and the other from Maryland. Any ruling made in this case would take precedence over the Ohio court’s decision. Last week, a similar gerrymandering case in Wisconsin was successfully delayed until the Supreme Court’s ruling.

Critics have argued that this is all an attempt to run out the clock on gerrymandering reform and ensure the same flawed map is utilized in the 2020 election.  Secretary of State LaRose disagreed. He felt that should the courts find in favor of the Ohio League of Women Voters, the schedule for drawing new lines would have to be heavily compressed. Should this happen many citizens would have little time to adjust to the new locations. As a result, this could cause “confusion” and negatively affect voter turnout.

The full video of his remarks and the forum can be found here.

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Andrew Shirley is a reporter at Battleground State News and The Ohio Star. Send tips to aashirley1809@gmail.com.
Photo “Frank Larose” by Georgebailey2015. CC BY-SA 4.0.

 

 

 

 

 

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