Today's Big Gerrymandering News

Dear Friends,

This morning, the US Supreme Court heard oral arguments in a critical case that will impact the future of fair districts and fair elections.

What is the Gill v. Whitford case about?
Gill v. Whitford is one of the biggest cases the Supreme Court will hear this year and could change the way redistricting happens across the country. 

The challenge at the center of this case is over whether the Wisconsin legislature went too far in 2011 when it drew lines that gave a huge advantage to one political party over the other.

While the US Supreme Court has said that extreme partisan gerrymandering may be unconstitutional, it has been difficult to prove because there is no test to measure how far is too far when it comes to partisan manipulation of the districts and the voters in those districts.

The Gill case could change that by establishing a way to assess the severity of partisan gerrymandering.

Read more:
What does this mean for Ohio?
If the US Supreme Court uses this case to establish a legal standard for extreme partisan gerrymandering, it will apply to all states the next time district lines are redrawn after the 2020 Census.

Depending on the Court's ruling, it could prohibit the kind of extreme manipulation the Brennan Center documented in the "seven states that account for almost all of the bias" in the last round of redistricting:  Michigan, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Florida, Ohio, Texas, and Virginia.

While we are all eager to see how the Court rules, we don't have to wait to put a stop to gerrymandering.

The Fair Districts = Fair Elections Coalition is working to enact new protections for fair districts in Ohio that will apply regardless of how the Court rules.

As of October 2, the Fair Districts campaign has collected 149,386 verified signatures to put congressional redistricting reform on the 2018 ballot. We are almost halfway to the total of 305,591 needed to qualify for the ballot.

How is your  area doing? So far 14 counties have met the minimum number o f signatures needed, dozens more are making good progress, and five counties need fewer than 100 signatures. 

How can you help?
  • Sign the Fair Congressional Districts for Ohio petition.
  • Donate to the Fair Districts campaign.
  • Volunteer to help collect signatures, verify petitions, or host a house party.

Yours In League, 

Alison Ricker              
LWV Ohio Co-President 
Mary Kirtz Van Nortwick
LWV Ohio Co-President
Carrie Davis
Executive Director 

League of Women Voters of Ohio | 614-469-1505 | www.lwvohio.org