By State Representative Kent Smith
The Ohio Republican Legislators have proposed new cards for the House and Senate that, if passed, would likely give them a disproportionate share of the seats in the Ohio State Legislature, which would allow them, despite new rules being introduced Approved by Ohio voters to maintain a veto-proof majority in the statehouse is intended to discourage Gerrymandering.
It is shamelessly astonishing that the Republican leaders in the Ohio Redistricting Commission would publish a new map of the state legislature that completely ignores the will of the citizens they represent. The publication of this map makes one wonder whether or not the Republicans on the commission still believe Ohio is a constitutional republic.
Ohioans spoke twice, not just once, calling for fair districts. With these two votes (in 2015 and 2018), Ohio voters intended this process to be open and transparent. They wanted as many voices as possible to be included in public hearings to redeem the promise of fair cards. The five Republicans in the Redistricting Commission do not seem to trust the voters in Ohio to govern themselves because they simply ignored the election results.
Recall that State Issue 1 was passed with 71% of the vote in 2015. At the time, it was supported by both the Ohio Republican Party and the Ohio Democratic Party. It also had the support of a diverse cross section of groups representing virtually all Ohioans.
To refresh everyone’s memories, these groups included: The ALCU of Ohio, the County Commissioners Association, the Fraternal Order of Police, the League of Women Voters of Ohio, the Ohio AFL-CIO, the Ohio Chamber of Commerce, the Ohio Council of Churches, the Ohio Manufacturers’ Association, and many, many other Ohio groups, organizations, and associations.
The passage of Issue 1 in 2015 meant the Ohio Redistricting Commission had to attempt to draw districts so that the number of seats each party is likely to win matches their share of the statewide vote.
Republican card makers have once again filled Democratic districts beyond the required population and cracked swing districts that the Democrats recently won, likely to reduce the total number of Democrats in the Ohio General Assembly. These tactics are dishonest and violate the letter and spirit of the constitutional amendment passed by voters in Ohio.
In press coverage of the passing of Issue 1 (in 2015), Matt Huffman said that of the victory in Issue 1, it “shows that even complicated, partisan problems can be solved if you get the right people in the room, and the people work in good faith ”. ,” he said.
So we don’t have to have the right people in the room. Or the people in the room completely disregarded the will of the Ohio voters.