COLUMBUS, Ohio — Ohio Governor Mike DeWine has signed a new map of congressional districts into law.
The signing comes two days after the Ohio House of Representatives voted 55-36 in favor of the 15-district map.
The map will be in effect for the next four years.
Democrats, voting-rights groups and scholars claim the map is gerrymandered and favors the GOP. Republicans argued it’s the most competitive of all maps considered, doesn’t unduly favor either party, and is constitutional.
DeWine issued the following statement after signing the bill:
“When compared to the other proposals offered from House and Senate caucuses, both Republican and Democrat, the map in SB 258 makes the most progress to produce a fair, compact, and competitive map. The SB 258 map has fewer county splits and city splits than these recent proposals and the current congressional map. The SB 258 map keeps Lucas and Stark counties, as well as the Mahoning Valley, whole within single congressional districts for the first time in decades, and also keeps the cities of Akron, Canton, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Dayton, and Toledo all whole within the same congressional map for the first time since the 1840s. With seven competitive congressional districts in the SB 258 map, this map significantly increases the number of competitive districts versus the current map.”
The Ohio Democratic Party issued the following statement shortly after DeWine signed the bill into law:
“There’s only one thing you can count on Mike DeWine for: naked, partisan self-interest. By signing these despicable maps into law, DeWine is leaving no doubt he will always put his own political interests over the interests of Ohioans he is supposed to serve. DeWine and the Ohio GOP are doing everything and anything they can to prevent voters from holding them accountable at the ballot box while they continue to betray Ohioans at every turn."