Editorial: Redistricting officials hold Ohioans in contempt


A recent editorial by the Toledo Blade:

The damage is done. Voters lost.

The Ohio Constitution lost. There will be no fair redistricting maps in 2022.

The redistricting commissioners found a way to slither out of doing their duty.

Whether the majority of commission members are held in contempt of court by the Ohio Supreme Court no longer is the point.

If they are in contempt, it won’t change the reality. Elections this year will go forward with unconstitutional maps.

The only way to salvage the future of redistricting in Ohio depends on voters turning out any member of the General Assembly who will not commit to assuring fair maps next time. Legislators can do that by pressuring the elected officials who make the appointments to the commission.

Since the maps that did pass were without the agreement of all commissioners, the maps will be revisited for the 2024 elections.

The exact same thing, delays and lawsuits, will happen in 2024 unless voters send a message this November.

The commission majority negated the votes of a large majority of Ohioans who wanted fair redistricting maps. Those voters passed two sets of Constitutional amendments in 2015 and 2018 aimed to make that happen.

It didn’t matter. Those votes didn’t count.

The commission gave voters the finger.

The clear message: We don’t care how you voted, we’re doing what we please, constitutional amendment be damned. The constant delays, the failure time after time to produce constitutional maps, all designed to negate the law. The Supreme Court let commissioners know precisely what they’d need to do to produce constitutional maps.

They wouldn’t follow those directives.

The commission stands in violation of the Ohio Constitution. Their devious work was aided and abetted by federal court judges who played their game.

Voters should be angry. That anger could bring stronger consequences than if the court holds commissioners in contempt.

It will take electing candidates pledged to observe the spirit of the 2015 and 2018 constitutional amendments. It will take voters who ignore the “R” or “D” next to a candidate’s name. If constitutional amendments passed by voters don’t matter, the state of democracy in Ohio has reached critical condition.

Voters must send the commission majority and the elected officials who facilitated their obstructionism slithering home in November.

— Toledo Blade, June 21