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Ohio Supreme Court rules new maps unconstitutional for third time; May 3rd primary unlikely

New maps for state House and Senate districts have once again been ruled unconstitutionally gerrymandered by the Ohio Supreme Court. Those maps were approved by the Ohio Redistricting Commission on February 24. Statehouse correspondent Karen Kasler reports a full primary for statewide, legislative and congressional candidates on May 3 is now all but impossible.

In a 4-3 ruling, the court rejected the third attempt at legislative maps, which gave Republicans 54% of the seats in the House and Senate.

Opponents had argued the number of competitive districts still disproportionately impacts Democratic seats. The majority opinion says Democrats on the commission had no input and that the process was even more one-sided than in previous map attempts.

But in a strongly worded dissent, Republicans Sharon Kennedy and Pat DeWine wrote the decision means “electoral chaos” and – again quoting - "The majority’s decree today is an exercise of raw political power. Nothing less. Nothing more."

New maps are due next Monday. Elections officials have said a full May 3 primary wouldn’t be possible if the court threw out these maps or the congressional map, which is still being reviewed.