Monday’s U.S. Supreme Court ruling in favor of Arizona’s redistricting commission means Ohio could act quickly to reform its process for drawing congressional district maps. Late last year, Ohio lawmakers passed revisions to the state legislative redistricting process with large bipartisan support in both chambers. Ohio Republicans then cited the Arizona case as the main reason for not also reforming the congressional redistricting process. Despite Monday’s decision, Ohio voters likely won’t vote on a congressional plan in November, when they will be asked to approve the revised state legislative redistricting process. Lawmakers plan to recess for the summer this week and don’t plan to return before the August deadline to put an issue on the November ballot.
Sen. Frank LaRose, a Copley Republican, said last year that Ohio should move forward despite the court case. LaRose said Monday he has drafted legislation for the congressional process that mirrors what will be Issue 1 on the November ballot. He said gerrymandered districts don’t serve the interests of voters.
“In so many cases at both the state legislative and U.S. congressional level, many of us serve in districts where we don’t have any real general election opposition,” LaRose said. “If Democrats want to win primaries, they go further left and if Republicans want to win primaries, they go further right and I don’t think it leads to the type of pragmatism and good governing we need.”