Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine approves congressional map

Ohio Governor Mike DeWine speaks during the induction ceremony for the Ohio Veterans Hall of Fame Class of 2021 at National Veterans Memorial and Museum in Columbus on Monday, October 18, 2021.

Despite pleas from Democrats and voting rights groups for a veto, Republican Gov. Mike DeWine on Saturday signed into law a congressional redistricting map that will likely face court challenges.

“When compared to the other proposals offered from House and Senate caucuses, both Republican and Democrat, the map in Senate Bill 258 makes the most progress to produce a fair, compact, and competitive map," DeWine said in a statement Saturday morning.

Jen Miller, executive director of the League of Women Voters of Ohio said it was a "sad day for Ohio."

"This new Congressional map is extremely partisan gerrymandered, violating the Ohio Constitution and prioritizing short-sided partisan considerations ahead of the rights of all Ohio voters," Miller said. "Ohio voters deserve better, and we will not stop our efforts until gerrymandering finally comes to an end in Ohio."

DeWine's signature on the map bill marks the culmination of years of fighting over how Ohio should draw its political maps. Voters embraced reforms in 2015 and 2018 that promised a more bipartisan process for how Ohio would craft legislative and congressional district lines.

Ohio Republican lawmakers approved a bill that sets Ohio's 15 Congressional districts. Since Democrats did not vote for it, the map will only be in place for four years instead of 10.

But it didn't pan out.

More:The threat of a 4-year map was supposed to inspire Ohio redistricting compromise. It didn't

Neither the legislative map or congressional map won a single vote from any Democrats on the Ohio Redistricting Commission or in the General Assembly. That means the maps will be in place for four years instead of 10.

Oral arguments for lawsuits challenging the legislative maps are scheduled before the Ohio Supreme Court for Dec. 8. And advocates for fair maps said this week they'd weigh their options for challenging the congressional maps as well.

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