Editorial: Remap reform

TOLEDO (Feb. 21, 2012) — Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted, who sits on the Apportionment Board, called the system that allows the majority party to redraw district lines to its advantage “partisan” and “dysfunctional.” Last month, he wrote to House Speaker William Batchelder (R., Medina) to warn that if the General Assembly doesn’t act to make the process appear less partisan, “outside groups will move forward with their own plans.”

The groups that the state’s chief elections official cites apparently include the League of Women Voters of Ohio and Common Cause Ohio. They are working on a constitutional amendment that would put redistricting in the hands of a nonpartisan citizens’ panel. The current system shows what happens when foxes run the henhouse. Even those who recognize the abuse can’t bring themselves to relinquish control.

Ohioans could wait for years and several more elections for the constitutional modernization commission to embrace reform. Or the Supreme Court could force the issue by declaring the current system unconstitutional and suggesting a better way to represent the interests of all Ohioans in electing state lawmakers. The guiding principle should be that voters pick their elected officials, not the other way around.” Toledo Blade.

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Op Ed: With a little thought, it’s obvious these things make no sense

COLUMBUS (Jan. 30, 2012) — U.S. House Speaker John Boehner of West Chester told Politicolast week that he thought Republicans had gerrymandered enough congressional districts around the country to retain control of the House through 2020.

Certainly Boehner and fellow GOP map-makers did their part in Ohio. Of the 16 new districts they drew, 12 are so ironclad Republican that even Mo, Larry or Curly could win with an R behind his name. Boehner’s braying that Republicans will hold the House for another 10 years prompts this question: To what end?…

And now, Boehner has bargained for even more of them. He — and the country — might do better if more Republicans (and Democrats) were elected in competitive districts. Gerrymandering renders general elections mere coronations of partisan primary election winners and too often yields politicians from both parties who are far outside the mainstream.” JoeHallett, The Columbus Dispatch.

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Take Action in Ohio

Recorded Webinar

Private citizens drew maps of Ohio congressional and state legislative districts using the same census data used by public officials. The maps were scored using objective nonpartisan criteria, and they outscored the official maps in a dramatic fashion. Read more

Letter to legislators:
On June 28, a letter was sent to every state legislator to seek transparent and fair redistricting

Letter to Governor
On Sept. 19 a letter was sent to the Governor requesting immediate release of the proposed state legislative redistricting maps.

Write your state legislators
Demand that they back a constitutional amendment to stop politicians from going into the backrooms to create districts which benefit themselves.

Stop politics as usual.
Maps should not be drawn by politicians. Districts should be politically balanced, so that voters can hold their politicians accountable.

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The goal of the Draw the Line Ohio is to educate Ohioans about the serious implications of Ohio’s hyper-partisan redistricting process, build consensus around specific redistricting reform measures, and build a base for future reform of redistricting standards. Learn more

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