Ohio: Congressional redistricting reform will be Issue 1 on May ballot | Cleveland Plain Dealer

It’s official — Ohioans will vote May 8 to change how the state draws congressional districts to a process supporters say will be more fair, transparent and bipartisan. The General Assembly’s proposed constitutional amendment will be Issue 1, the only statewide issue on the May primary election ballot. The Ohio Ballot Board, a bipartisan panel led by the secretary of state, met Tuesday and approved a ballot summary and arguments for and against Issue 1.

North Carolina: Don’t ‘reward gamesmanship and obstinacy,’ North Carolina gerrymander challengers say | News & Observer

Attorneys representing voters who successfully challenged North Carolina’s congressional districts as unconstitutional partisan gerrymanders are protesting lawmakers’ attempt to use the election maps again this year. U.S. Supreme Court Justice John Roberts had given attorneys until noon Wednesday to offer response to a request last week from Republican legislative leaders for the country’s high court to get involved in another gerrymandering case in North Carolina. “In the 2016 election, Republican congressional candidates received slightly more than 50 percent of the statewide vote in North Carolina,” attorneys for the League of Women Voters wrote in opposition to lawmakers’ request for an emergency stay that would put a lower court’s ruling on hold. “With this slim majority, they won ten of North Carolina’s congressional seats. The resulting partisan asymmetry was the largest in the country in the 2016 election, and the fourth-largest, on net, of all congressional plans nationwide since 1972.”

Texas: Recent rulings that Texas’ voting laws discriminate put pressure on the state, but the road ahead is long | Dallas Morning News

Texas has spent six years locked in legal battles over a controversial voter identification law and its congressional and statehouse district maps. Then, starting March 10, federal judges issued three consecutive rulings against the state. The first, from a district court in San Antonio, invalidated three congressional districts when it found that the Legislature drew the state’s congressional maps with the intent to discriminate against minority voters. Weeks later, a federal judge in Corpus Christi upheld a finding that Texas’ voter ID law was written with the same intent. And on Thursday, the San Antonio court ruled that legislators drew the 2011 statehouse maps with the intent to dilute minority voting strength.