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Ohio Democratic Leader Says Gerrymandered Map Lowered Faith In Elections

Ohio Democratic Party chair David Pepper
Ohio Public Radio

The clock is ticking toward the deadline for Ohio lawmakers to redraw a new congressional district map that can be used for the 2020 election. 

A federal court has given the state until June 14 to do that, but Republican Attorney General Dave Yost’s office is appealing the decision. Democrats are excited about the prospect of possibly having new maps in time for next November’s elections.

Ohio Democratic Party chair David Pepper says he hopes the ruling will stand and state lawmakers will have to draw new maps. He says the current maps are so heavily gerrymandered to benefit Republicans that many voters lose faith in the electoral process.

“So, if you have fair maps in (20)20, I think it lifts Democratic turnout higher than it would normally be because for the most part, people in most of these districts think their vote didn’t matter and that’s exactly what the gerrymandering was intended to do," Pepper says.

Pepper says Democratic voters are also excited about the choices they have for the top of the ticket. At least 23 Democrats have announced they are running in the party’s primary for president.

Jo Ingles is a professional journalist who covers politics and Ohio government for the Ohio Public Radio and Television for the Ohio Public Radio and Television Statehouse News Bureau. She reports on issues of importance to Ohioans including education, legislation, politics, and life and death issues such as capital punishment.