Lines have been drawn. We’re taking names. We need yours. Your signature will mean the difference between fairelections and gerrymandered district lines that favor one political party.
Voters First for Ohio is circulating a petition to collect enough signatures for a constitutional amendment that would give a nonpartisan commission the power to change the recent redrawn congressional district boundaries. CEA supports this effort led by a coalition of more than 25 nonpartisan organizations, including the League of Women Voters, Ohio Citizen Action and Common Cause.
If the amendment passes, the new commission will adopt a plan that complies with all legal requirements. These include the Voting Rights Act, which creates compact districts, minimizes splits of municipalities and wards, maximizes the number of politically balanced districts and balances the number of districts which favor each political party to reflect the preferences of Ohio voters.
Think all this bluster is about a sophisticated but harmless jigsaw puzzle? Guess again. Ohio’s five-member Apportionment Board, meeting in private at taxpayer expense, redrew district lines to split more than 250 cities, townships and villages. The new map gives one party control of 80 percent of the voting real estate, guaranteeing them a legislative majority.
Think of the ramifications. In the Ohio House alone, citizens could elect seven more pro-Senate Bill 5 representatives who could pass legislation that could be implemented immediately. In Ohio, we have no recall provision for removing politicians.
This is a nonpartisan issue. No one group of politicians, of any stripe, should be allowed to secretly redraw congressional boundaries. Help Ohioans get a fair redistricting process on the ballot. Help us collect 385,000 signatures. Each FR or designee has a petition, and we need every employee to sign one. Those interested in circulating petitions can get one by calling Judy Nelson at CEA at 253-4731. Remember: This is a nonpartisan issue that will affect our future.