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Government and Politics

Ohio Dems think they still have a redistricting bargaining chip
Emergency  passage of GOP-drawn map would require seven Democratic votes

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M.L. Schultze
The GOP district splits up all of the urban counties in Northeast Ohio
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Democrats’ meager minority in the Ohio Legislature hasn’t counted for much this year on bills ranging from limits on public employee bargaining to limits on absentee voting. But they’re hoping that seven of their votes are important enough for Republicans to reconsider the new congressional boundaries they’re voting on tomorrow (Thursday).

It’s all a matter of timing. Ohio’s primary now is scheduled for March, meaning the filing deadline for congressional candidates is Dec. 7th. Republicans and Democrats had tentatively agreed to pass an emergency bill to move the primary to May. But that was before Democrats got a look at the map of the new districts.  Now they say they won’t provide the seven extra votes needed for emergency passage.

Democratic State Rep. Kathleen  Clyde of Portage County says that’s why Democrats still have hope for a redrawn congressional map.

Clyde maintains Ohio is a truly purple state

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“Ohio is a 50-50 state. In the last 10 years, our elections have been pretty split down the middle," Clyde says. "To have a map that so favors one party, a 12-4 advantage, is not a good representation of Ohio and will result in the hyper-partisan politics that Ohioans are sick of. And we deserve better.”

Ohio is dropping from 18 congressional districts to 16. In Northeast Ohio, the GOP’s redrawn districts would link one district from Cleveland to Toledo, and split up other Democratic areas including Summit and Stark counties. 

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