Filing: politics part of Ohio redistricting system

Associated Press Published:

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) -- State officials are arguing to the Ohio Supreme Court that politics are an inevitable and acceptable part of the process for drawing legislative lines.

Officials including Gov. John Kasich and Senate President Thomas Niehaus say nothing in the state Constitution requires absolute neutrality when it comes to creating state House and Senate districts.

The officials argued in a filing with the state Supreme Court Friday that Ohio has restrictions against politics being the exclusive force behind legislative lines.

The state redraws legislative and congressional districts every 10 years to reflect population shifts identified in the U.S. census, and Republicans hold a 4-1 majority on the current Apportionment Board.

Democrats sued on behalf of three dozen voters in January, saying the lines were gerrymandered to favor the GOP.