Start process on fair congressional districts
Ohio is a greatly gerrymandered state.
Last time district maps were drawn in Ohio, they were done in secrecy with no input from the public, yielding 12 Republican U.S. House districts and four Democratic districts, although Ohio was roughly a 50/50 state.
With the current gerrymandered district lines, not a single congressional district has changed hands, despite how qualified the challenger or unqualified the incumbent. A system that lacks fairness puts the needs of the people behind.
This year, there is a chance to change the district maps with a process that passed Ohio in 2015 and 2018 by over 70 percent of Ohioans. Voters overwhelmingly passed the measures in all 88 counties.
It is time for the Ohio Redistricting Commission, the new body that will draw the legislative maps, to begin its work. Although census data is delayed, it doesn’t mean there is not work that needs to be done to apply the new rules to the crafting of the maps. This once-in-a-decade opportunity to have an open, voter-focused process should not be limited because of the changes in the census timeline.
Fair districts are what voters wanted and expected when they cast their votes in 2015 and 2018. It is now time that their voices be honored and heard.
It’s time to begin developing fair districts and fair elections.