COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — The Ohio Supreme Court on Friday dismissed a new map of the state’s congressional districts as fraudulent, sending the draft back for another try.
In a 4-3 decision, the justices returned the map to the powerful Ohio Redistricting Commission or its fellow map-drawers in the Legislature, and said they must ensure that the next plan does indeed conform to the Ohio State Constitution.
The commission was already meeting to redraw the legislative maps rejected on Wednesday.
In 2018, Ohio voters approved a constitutional amendment that established a new system to avoid fraud. Voting rights and Democratic groups have challenged the card as “wrongly” favoring one party, which is a violation of the constitution.
In a letter on behalf of the majority, Judge Michael Donnelly, one of three Democrats on the trial, wrote: “The evidence in these cases clearly shows that the General Assembly did not heed the call of Ohio voters to stop political fraud. “.
Three of the seven judges, including Judge Pat DeWine, son of Republican Gov. Mike DeWine, named as plaintiff in the case, disagreed.
They said it was not clear how to determine if a card was “inappropriately favoring” one side over the other.
“When a majority says the plan is unduly favorable to the Republican Party, it means that the plan is unduly favorable to the Republican Party compared to the results that would be obtained if we followed the proportional representation system,” the dissenters said.
Republicans defended the card as “highly competitive”.