The plot gets thicker! Politicians keep shutting the public out, as they negotiate behind closed doors in a effort to solve the problems they have created — bizarre maps, multiple changing primaries, Supreme Court intervention, a referendum, possible court drawn districts for 2012, etc. etc.
At noon on Nov. 3, Republican leaders unveiled a new congressional map, which was introduced as HB 369 and then sought to have the map approved on an emergency vote within two hours of being unveiled. However, they couldn’t muster the votes for the required 2/3 majority to pass the measure as an emergency.
And then Ohio voters waited to see if the Democrats and Republicans could come to a compromise. This compromise came on December 14. HB 369 was amended; 800 voters were shifted around in Franklin County. This new version was passed by supermajorities in both the House and the Senate within 24 hours. And then on December 15, Substitute House Bill 369 was signed by Governor Kasich. The public was once again left out and the deal was struck in back rooms of the Statehouse.
So, what do the new districts look like? Unfortunately, not much different than what was approved in September. Still a 12 – 4 Republican advantage. Only three of 16 districts are even barely competitive. 23 counties are split with seven counties split into three or more districts. And when we scored the HB 369 districts, they still scored lower than all 53 maps submitted during our citizen competition.
For a closer look, see the following links: