Archbold, OH

Voters To Consider Redistricting Method

When Ohio voters go to the polls, Tuesday, Nov. 6, they will be asked whether they want to change the way Ohio legislative and congressional districts are drawn.

The districts are redrawn every 10 years, based on the United States Census.

Currently, districts are drawn by the Ohio governor, auditor, and secretary of state, along with one Republican and one Democrat chosen by party leaders.

But, depending on which political party holds which offices, district maps are sometimes drawn to favor one party over another.

For example, this year, Republicans occupied all three state offices, so the reapportionment board was controlled by the GOP, 4 to 1.

The most glaring example of how one party could redraw the districts to favor their party was in northern Ohio, where the congressional district of Marcy Kaptur, a long-time congressman (D) was redrawn along the coastline of Lake Erie from Toledo to Cleveland, where she had to face another Democratic congressman in the primary to stay in the House.

Another example is the district of Bob Latta, Republican congressional representative from Bowling Green. His district covers all or part of 16 congressional districts across the north-central and northwest parts of the state, creating a district that would take all day to traverse.

A proposal placed on the ballot by an initative petition calls for legislative and congressional districts to be drawn by a 12-member commission made up of four Republicans, four Democrats, and four persons not aligned with a political party.

State officials estimated it would cost $1.6 to $2 million per year to operate the commission.

A yes vote on Issue 2 is a vote to establish the 12-member commission. Voting no would keep the current system.

State Issue 1 asks voters whether or not a constitutional convention should be held to update the state constitution.

Ohio law requires that voters be asked whether or not to hold a convention every 20 years. The law was first established in 1934.

Ohio voters have never voted in favor of a convention.

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