Thursday, September 24, 2015

Ohio Reform to Stop Redistricting and Gerrymandering

Source: Cleveland

A proposed amendment, Issue 1, is being considered in Ohio right now for the fourth time. Issue 1 will reduce gerrymandering by having the General Assembly districts approve of two or more redistricting commissioners from each party for 10-year duration districts. If these districts don't win enough votes, then the districts will have a 4 year limit, and by then, the Redistricting Commission will be redrawing districts again. Issue 1 has been brought up three times, but was rejected each time. Now, there is a bipartisan support of this amendment, but it's ultimately up to the people's vote.

What do you think will happen? Considering how Ohio has a history or gerrymandering, do you think this amendment will be passed? What do you think the effects will be if this is passed or not passed? Should the government do more to enforce states to not gerrymander? What are your thoughts? We talked about gerrymandering today, so I thought this would be a fitting topic of discussion. 



Juliana Stahr said...

Great topic to discuss Monica! I strongly believe that Issue 1 will not pass due to Ohio's long history of gerrymandering. Considering the fact that the proposed amendment has been rejected three times, the likelihood of the issue passing is extremely low. The effect of gerrymandering is very clear: democracy is ruined and destroyed. Without competition in various districts, the outcome of elections will further be unfair. While there are mostly cons to gerrymandering, there are pros as well. Gerrymandering allows officials to more effectively represent the interests of their constituency, which leads to lesser conflict within a district. In addition, gerrymandering allows the legislature to be more accurate of how citizens feel. Yes this is true in political districts, but not state wide. Also, a party is able to represent the interests of their constituency, but only because they are manipulating district lines to illegally garner votes. Is this really what the framers would have wanted? All in all, gerrymandering is infringing on the rights of all citizens not represented by the empowered party. We must put an end to gerrymandering because it devalues and undermines the voting and democratic process.


Elliot Quan said...

It's interesting that both parties find it in their best interests to rally behind Issue 1. What's the incentive for the voters, however? I guess it's in their best interests to attempt to balance out the districts, but those voters who are already part of the majority of their district would likely oppose this Issue. I suppose that since gerrymandering contributes to political polarization, perhaps this isn't such a bad idea, but then again, maybe some people are comfortable having skewed representation when it benefits them. Hard to say what will happen.