ew Ohio Secretary of State Frank LaRose said Thursday that he doesn’t think Ohio’s congressional lines should be changed before the 2020 election, something a pending federal lawsuit aims to do. LaRose, a Republican, said Ohio’s current congressional maps are “flawed,” but said changing them in the middle of an election cycle would cause confusion and possible lower turnout as a result. He said Ohio should wait until 2021, when the state will draw the maps using a new process approved by voters last year that was designed to help fix Ohio’s gerrymandered congressional districts. Those maps, if they meet meet new requirements to get minority-party approval, would remain in place for 10 years.
“This idea that we run to the courthouse steps and get a judge’s order and draw new lines is not the best thing for the health of our democracy,” LaRose said.
LaRose was asked about the lawsuit, filed in May 2018 on behalf of the Ohio League of Women Voters and others, during a LWV-sponsored voter-rights forum in Beachwood. LaRose was a state senator from Hudson when he was elected Secretary of State in November. His comments Thursday were his first on the lawsuit, in which he’s now a defendant, since he took office in January.