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The League of Women Voters of Metropolitan Columbus

News

Legislature still has chance to get redistricting right

Wednesday, Aug. 11, 2010

On Thursday, the League of Women Voters of Ohio issued the following news release on the status of redistricting in Ohio.

So what do we do now? The Ohio General Assembly dithered and dallied and avoided approving a redistricting reform amendment to our constitution in time for the November ballot. All is not lost, however – yet!

When the Apportionment Board and the General Assembly redraw the state’s legislative and congressional district lines, respectively, in 2011, the League of Women Voters of Ohio urges them to voluntarily use the redistricting principles and procedures proposed and tested by the League a year ago. We must move away from the hyper-partisan redistricting models that produce districts that don’t reflect Ohio voters’ preferences, that permit protection of incumbents, and that encourage unnaturally high numbers of safe seats.

The League also urges voters to encourage the use of a fair, nonpartisan, and transparent process to draw legislative and congressional districts by asking that all candidates for governor, secretary of state, and state auditor – and for state senator and state representative – support a transparent, public competition for redistricting plans.

The plans should be judged on four objective, measurable factors:

Finally, the League encourages Ohioans to request that all meetings and discussions of the Apportionment Board and General Assembly committees judging the plans be public, that they include opportunities for public comment, and that their final choices be explained.

What is not to like about a fair and transparent process that puts voters’ interests foremost? What excuse is there not to try it?