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Ohio pauses preparations for May 3 primary amid map flap

Tender Branson

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COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Ohio's top elections official is pausing certain preparations for the May 3 primary in the face of a court decision invalidating a third set of GOP-drawn maps of new legislative districts.

Republican Secretary of State Frank LaRose coupled a directive issued to county election boards Thursday night with a two-page letter to fellow members of the Ohio Redistricting Commission explaining that counties are now “simply out of time” to complete the work necessary to hold elections for state representatives and state senators as scheduled.

His order prohibits counties from altering or sending ballots until further notice and pauses reprogramming of voter registration and tabulating systems. It instructs boards to continue recruiting poll workers, advertising voter registration information and conducting other tasks unrelated to the maps. LaRose finalized a deal with the Justice Department on Friday allowing 10 extra days for the return of military and overseas ballots.

But the secretary of state does not have the power to change Ohio's primary election date. LaRose said that decision now must come from either the Legislature or “immediate action of a federal court.”

LaRose indicated in a string of tweets on Friday that U.S. House contests will go forward, however, despite a constitutional challenge over Ohio's second congressional map still awaiting action at the Ohio Supreme Court.

U.S. District Judge Algenon Marbley reopened a connected federal lawsuit Friday filed by a group of GOP voters, after they had pleaded to have their case expedited, and appointed a three-judge panel to hear the case.

Meanwhile, a growing chorus of interest groups and politicians of both parties has begun calling on lawmakers to delay the primary — to June, or even August — in light of the latest ruling.

LaRose blasted national Democrats and the Ohio Supreme Court for the predicament. He accused the Biden administration of intentionally delaying census results on which maps are built, deep-pocketed “out of state special interests” of a time-eating litigation strategy and the high court's bipartisan majority of dawdling in its deliberations.

“Regardless, we've never let up in the effort to make a complete May 3 primary election a success, and I'm confident we're prepared to do that,” he wrote.

The U.S. Census Bureau was supposed to deliver new population tallies to states last spring, kicking off the once-per-decade redrawing of political boundaries. The agency attributed a monthslong delay to difficulties presented by the coronavirus pandemic in conducting the head count, which mostly took place in 2020 — during the presidency of Republican Donald Trump.

In its decision Wednesday night, the Supreme Court ruled the third set of legislative maps remains gerrymandered in favor of Republicans, in violation of the state Constitution.

The court faulted two leading lawmakers on the Republican-dominated Redistricting Commission — Senate President Matt Huffman and House Speaker Bob Cupp — for allowing a secretive, partisan map-making process and gave the panel until March 28 to remedy the situation.

Voting rights and Democratic groups behind lawsuits against the maps also faulted LaRose, suggesting he and the commission's Republican majority have acted defiantly against passing maps that would satisfy the courts, the Constitution and voters.

The Ohio Redistricting Commission has scheduled a hearing for Saturday to discuss new maps.


Hmm.

Republicans drew 3 maps, which all violated the OH constitution for being unfair and partisan and they wanted to get away with it ?

Screw them.
 

Tender Branson

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The only good thing that would come out of the Republican map cheating would be Democrat Tim Ryan winning the US Senate race in November against a clusterf**k field of Republicans, who are outdoing themselves in getting the support of disgraced former president Trump …

A Democratic Senate pickup in Ohio would be nice, but a longshot.
 

ttwtt78640

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The only good thing that would come out of the Republican map cheating would be Democrat Tim Ryan winning the US Senate race in November against a clusterf**k field of Republicans, who are outdoing themselves in getting the support of disgraced former president Trump …

A Democratic Senate pickup in Ohio would be nice, but a longshot.

No matter how the redistricting is (eventually) done, Ohio will remain a ‘red’ state.


BTW, statewide US Senate races are not impacted by gerrymandering.
 

Tender Branson

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No matter how the redistricting is (eventually) done, Ohio will remain a ‘red’ state.

BTW, statewide US Senate races are not impacted by gerrymandering.

I know.

I was just saying that the outcome of the redistricting map controversy (the discussion and controversy), might lead to voters souring in OH on Republicans and elect Democrat Tim Ryan to the US Senate instead.

It’s of course a longshot, because OH voters took a turn for the crazy in the past 10 years („They took our steel and coal jobs !“) and increasingly voted for crazy conspiracy theorists like Trump.

Instead of voting for Democrats, who provided them good-paying unionized jobs. It’s not Democrats who took away their coal and steel jobs, it was Republicans and their policies and globalization.
 

OrphanSlug

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I am sure Republicans are ready to take the redistricting for a spin, but it probably does not matter. Outside of a few cities Ohio is largely Republican.
 

Tender Branson

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I am sure Republicans are ready to take the redistricting for a spin, but it probably does not matter. Outside of a few cities Ohio is largely Republican.

That is very much true:

Most US states are extremely rural from a European perspective.

In Ohio, there are only Cleveland, Columbus and Cincinnati and everything else is cornfields.
 

ttwtt78640

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I know.

I was just saying that the outcome of the redistricting map controversy (the discussion and controversy), might lead to voters souring in OH on Republicans and elect Democrat Tim Ryan to the US Senate instead.

It’s of course a longshot, because OH voters took a turn for the crazy in the past 10 years („They took our steel and coal jobs !“) and increasingly voted for crazy conspiracy theorists like Trump.

Instead of voting for Democrats, who provided them good-paying unionized jobs. It’s not Democrats who took away their coal and steel jobs, it was Republicans and their policies and globalization.

Unfortunately, the typical state government plan for providing those “good-paying union jobs” involves offering massive (special) tax breaks for those ‘union job creators’, making it necessary to cut public services and/or raise taxes on others in the state. The ‘globalization’ (or simply moving production to states offering a better tax deal and/or not demanding union labor) is often made due to union demands to raise labor costs since the employer had (foolishly?) agreed not to leave for a decade or more.

In 2009, with gas prices soaring, the state offered the company massive tax breaks to help it expand and retool the Lordstown plant to produce a new, fuel-efficient model, the Chevrolet Cruze. Under the terms of the deal, GM got a 75% reduction in its income taxes over 15 years — worth $14.2 million — in exchange for agreeing to add 200 jobs and maintain operations at the site until 2039. A separate agreement awarded the company an additional $46.1 million in tax breaks on the condition that it retain 3,700 employees over 15 years and maintain operations at the site until 2027.


At its height in the 1990s, the GM Lordstown Assembly Plant employed 10,600 workers, according to the Detroit Free Press. GM shut the plant in 2019 at a cost of 1,500 jobs.

 

code1211

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COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Ohio's top elections official is pausing certain preparations for the May 3 primary in the face of a court decision invalidating a third set of GOP-drawn maps of new legislative districts.

Republican Secretary of State Frank LaRose coupled a directive issued to county election boards Thursday night with a two-page letter to fellow members of the Ohio Redistricting Commission explaining that counties are now “simply out of time” to complete the work necessary to hold elections for state representatives and state senators as scheduled.

His order prohibits counties from altering or sending ballots until further notice and pauses reprogramming of voter registration and tabulating systems. It instructs boards to continue recruiting poll workers, advertising voter registration information and conducting other tasks unrelated to the maps. LaRose finalized a deal with the Justice Department on Friday allowing 10 extra days for the return of military and overseas ballots.

But the secretary of state does not have the power to change Ohio's primary election date. LaRose said that decision now must come from either the Legislature or “immediate action of a federal court.”

LaRose indicated in a string of tweets on Friday that U.S. House contests will go forward, however, despite a constitutional challenge over Ohio's second congressional map still awaiting action at the Ohio Supreme Court.

U.S. District Judge Algenon Marbley reopened a connected federal lawsuit Friday filed by a group of GOP voters, after they had pleaded to have their case expedited, and appointed a three-judge panel to hear the case.

Meanwhile, a growing chorus of interest groups and politicians of both parties has begun calling on lawmakers to delay the primary — to June, or even August — in light of the latest ruling.

LaRose blasted national Democrats and the Ohio Supreme Court for the predicament. He accused the Biden administration of intentionally delaying census results on which maps are built, deep-pocketed “out of state special interests” of a time-eating litigation strategy and the high court's bipartisan majority of dawdling in its deliberations.

“Regardless, we've never let up in the effort to make a complete May 3 primary election a success, and I'm confident we're prepared to do that,” he wrote.

The U.S. Census Bureau was supposed to deliver new population tallies to states last spring, kicking off the once-per-decade redrawing of political boundaries. The agency attributed a monthslong delay to difficulties presented by the coronavirus pandemic in conducting the head count, which mostly took place in 2020 — during the presidency of Republican Donald Trump.

In its decision Wednesday night, the Supreme Court ruled the third set of legislative maps remains gerrymandered in favor of Republicans, in violation of the state Constitution.

The court faulted two leading lawmakers on the Republican-dominated Redistricting Commission — Senate President Matt Huffman and House Speaker Bob Cupp — for allowing a secretive, partisan map-making process and gave the panel until March 28 to remedy the situation.

Voting rights and Democratic groups behind lawsuits against the maps also faulted LaRose, suggesting he and the commission's Republican majority have acted defiantly against passing maps that would satisfy the courts, the Constitution and voters.

The Ohio Redistricting Commission has scheduled a hearing for Saturday to discuss new maps.


Hmm.

Republicans drew 3 maps, which all violated the OH constitution for being unfair and partisan and they wanted to get away with it ?

Screw them.

Sounds like whatever law(s) guides the efforts on this is/are poorly written.
 

Chomsky

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I am sure Republicans are ready to take the redistricting for a spin, but it probably does not matter. Outside of a few cities Ohio is largely Republican.

Yeah, like FL it used to be a quintessential swing state, but now they lean GOP.
 

OrphanSlug

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That is very much true:

Most US states are extremely rural from a European perspective.

In Ohio, there are only Cleveland, Columbus and Cincinnati and everything else is cornfields.
Yeah, like FL it used to be a quintessential swing state, but now they lean GOP.

My view on this is Republicans were not necessarily redistricting to flip a state but rather to ensure the outcome for the next 10 years worth of elections.

Said another way, Republicans went to the next step of picking their voters.
 

bluesmoke

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No matter how the redistricting is (eventually) done, Ohio will remain a ‘red’ state.


BTW, statewide US Senate races are not impacted by gerrymandering.


Gerrymandering impacts the election of state legislatures that in turn can and do restrict voting rights which mostly affect minorities who tend to vote Dem and thus aid Rep candidates for the Senate. There's that. So, statewide US Senate races are impacted by gerrymandering.
 

ttwtt78640

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Gerrymandering impacts the election of state legislatures that in turn can and do restrict voting rights which mostly affect minorities who tend to vote Dem and thus aid Rep candidates for the Senate. There's that. So, statewide US Senate races are impacted by gerrymandering.

What laws which “restrict voting rights” in Ohio are you talking about?
 

Tender Branson

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What laws which “restrict voting rights” in Ohio are you talking about?

Not necessarily OH, I think he’s talking about several states.

It is true though: more than 30 of the 50 states have Republican trifectas (meaning Governor and the two chambers of the legislature are R), while a few are mixed control and just 15 have Democratic trifectas.

If the 30 state legislatures made up of Republicans are gerrymandered further by Republicans, it will cement Republican holds on these legislatures, who can then pass laws to disenfranchise mail voters and to cut precincts in urban areas for Democratic voters.

A process sadly happening in many R-controlled states since 2020 …
 

bluesmoke

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What laws which “restrict voting rights” in Ohio are you talking about?

I'm not talking about Ohio. I'm talking about how gerrymandering can be used in any state. TX would be an example:


TX voting laws are very restrictive:

 

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What's funny is the gop wants to impeach the judge because she won't go along with their brand of stupid.
 

highroller

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I know.

I was just saying that the outcome of the redistricting map controversy (the discussion and controversy), might lead to voters souring in OH on Republicans and elect Democrat Tim Ryan to the US Senate instead.

It’s of course a longshot, because OH voters took a turn for the crazy in the past 10 years („They took our steel and coal jobs !“) and increasingly voted for crazy conspiracy theorists like Trump.

Instead of voting for Democrats, who provided them good-paying unionized jobs. It’s not Democrats who took away their coal and steel jobs, it was Republicans and their policies and globalization.
And Democrats that went along with them like the Clintons.
 

highroller

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What's funny is the gop wants to impeach the judge because she won't go along with their brand of stupid.
They did the same in Michigan when GOP judges sided against them and their wishes for a "permanent minority majority"
 

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It is worth while to take time and re-visit the writings of some of the founders of the Constitution of the United States of America and other major figures of the time [Ed.: See the 'Farewell Address' of George Washington,] with respect to the danger inherent in two political parties butting heads. Those worthies could see no sure bulwark that could be erected to protect a democracy* against the destruction that could ensue.

Regards, stay safe 'n well 'n remember the Big 5.

* Yes, Gotcha! Gang, I know the United States of America is a republic form of government. Fact is, I probably knew that before you were born.
 

Plasmaball

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They did the same in Michigan when GOP judges sided against them and their wishes for a "permanent minority majority"
But how dare the dems want to stack a court
 

Ikari

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No matter how the redistricting is (eventually) done, Ohio will remain a ‘red’ state.


BTW, statewide US Senate races are not impacted by gerrymandering.
That may be, but I don't think it should be license to monkey with district maps. Illinois likely couldn't be drawn up to be Red, but it shouldn't be that Democrats can just do what they want with district maps.

This doesn't seem like it's a tough problem. We have enough math and computer nerds to be able to solve the issue, it seems. I don't know why we don't have an nearly automated process for district mapping.
 

highroller

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That may be, but I don't think it should be license to monkey with district maps. Illinois likely couldn't be drawn up to be Red, but it shouldn't be that Democrats can just do what they want with district maps.

This doesn't seem like it's a tough problem. We have enough math and computer nerds to be able to solve the issue, it seems. I don't know why we don't have an nearly automated process for district mapping.

I think Michigan did the best at solving the problem of gerrymandering in the country. The districts are drawn by non-politically appointed or connected citizens drawn in a lottery with guidelines and input from the citizens of the state.
 

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Not necessarily OH, I think he’s talking about several states.

It is true though: more than 30 of the 50 states have Republican trifectas (meaning Governor and the two chambers of the legislature are R), while a few are mixed control and just 15 have Democratic trifectas.

If the 30 state legislatures made up of Republicans are gerrymandered further by Republicans, it will cement Republican holds on these legislatures, who can then pass laws to disenfranchise mail voters and to cut precincts in urban areas for Democratic voters.

A process sadly happening in many R-controlled states since 2020 …

Well said.

Indeed, GOP efforts with backroom “deep state” operatives like ALEC and the anti voting rights coalition in the GOP nationalized state vote gerrymandering in the 2000’s and deployed it in 2010, effectively insuring that the privileged minority would elect it’s people even as others had their votes invalidates by gerrymandering.
 
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