Gerrymandering is the drawing of legislative district maps to benefit one political party. Ohio ranks in the top 10 states for unfairly drawing districts. In 2012, President Obama won Ohio by 3%, but Republicans still won 12 of Ohio’s 16 House seats – due to gerrymandering. Look at the map of Ohio’s sixteen Congressional districts to see what happens when politicians choose their voters rather than the other way around.
Ohio voters have voted twice to end gerrymandering: in 2015 by 71% for state legislative districts and in 2018 by 75% for Congressional districts. Once the 2020 census data is available this summer, new maps will be drawn this fall. Fair districts are contiguous, compact, respect municipal, township and county boundaries and promote competitive elections. See lsc.ohio.gov.
Our current districts for the U.S. House of Representatives are so biased that incumbents are virtually assured of easy victories in the general election, so they have no incentive to work for bipartisan solutions and every incentive to appeal to the extreme wings of their party, since practically the only way they can lose is to get beat by a more extreme candidate in the primary election. No wonder our government works so poorly.
Help ensure fair districts. Call or write your legislators. Tell them you support democracy and demand fair districts. You can help ensure that Ohio voters are respected. For more information, see www.fairdistrictsohio.org.
The Rev. Gerald Bishop