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Picking voters: gerrymandering

A gerrymandering case will be heard in an Ohio district court today. Republicans are accused of abusing the redistricting process by packing Democrats into four House districts, creating 12 reliably Republican seats. The case follows the striking down of a pro-Republican gerrymander in neighbouring Pennsylvania by the State Supreme Court last year. According to a measurement called the “efficiency gap”, which quantifies the number of wasted votes, Ohio’s congressional map is the eighth most tilted toward the GOP in the country. Republicans won just over 50% of votes in last year’s mid-term election but ended up with 63% of statehouse seats. The plaintiffs will argue that partisan gerrymandering infringes on the constitutional rights to free association, a “meaningful” vote and equal protection. Ohioans approved a law last May that makes gerrymandering much harder, but it won’t affect seats until after the 2020 census, too late to affect elections in November that year.

 

 

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