COLUMBUS, Ohio (WSYX) — Juliette Williams was there to vote Tuesday. But not many of her neighbors joined her.
“Nobody knows about this election right now,” she said. “I've been telling people and they're not they're like what, but they're kind of not moved to vote."
Williams voted at Schiller Park in German Village, but she said her neighbors didn’t realize Ohio was having a second primary election. This one was to select party nominees for Ohio House and Ohio Senate districts, whose boundaries were called into question numerous times in the redistricting mess that has been underway since last year.
Ohio’s Supreme Court declared maps produced by the Redistricting Commission to be unconstitutional five times. But a federal court ultimately ruled the unconstitutional maps would be used for this primary and the November elections.
Lines are redrawn every ten years after the census. Usually, the party in power wields their power to draw maps in their favor. But voting rights advocates through they had figured out how to make things more fair by passing two amendments to Ohio’s constitution setting up a new redistricting commission.
“We knew in 2015 and 2018 when these issues were on the ballot, that they weren't perfect,” Jen Miller, with the League of Women Voters, said. “We were hopeful.”
But that hope soon faded as the commission, led by Republicans, created maps that the Ohio Supreme Court called gerrymandered.
The League, one of the groups backing the ‘15 and ‘18 amendments, is working to remedy the situation and may look to Michigan for answers. That state has put the power of redistricting in the hands of an independent commission.
“They have an independent commission, not made of politicians, and they have much better district plans than we do,” Miller said.
You can see voting results from Tuesday's primary here.