Voters Rights Lawyers: GOP Aimed to Lock in Majority on Map

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CINCINNATI (AP) – Attorneys for voter rights groups argue that Ohio Republicans’ focus was locking in a 12-4 majority when they drew the state’s congressional map.

Attorney Alora Thomas of the American Civil Liberties Union told a three-judge panel Monday that the federal lawsuit against elected Republican state officials who controlled the remapping is “about real voters and real people” whose constitutional rights were trampled by partisan gerrymandering.

Attorneys for Republicans say the map resulted from bipartisan compromise with Democrats and that each party lost one seat after reapportionment reduced Ohio’s U.S. House delegation because of population shifts. Attorney Phil Strach called it “democracy in action.”

The GOP’s 13-5 House advantage became 12-4. That margin has held in every election since the remapping.

The trial in Cincinnati will last about two weeks.