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Sun Dec 21, 2014, 04:49 PM

In a Break From Partisan Rancor, Ohio Moves to Make Elections More Competitive.

Of 435 House races in November, only a few dozen were considered competitive — a result of decades of drawing district lines for partisan advantage, generally by state legislatures.

But in an era of hyperpartisan gerrymandering, which many blame for the polarization of state and national politics, Ohio took a step in the opposite direction last week. With the support of both parties, the Ohio House gave final approval Wednesday to a plan to draw voting districts for the General Assembly using a bipartisan process, intended to make elections more competitive.

“I think it will be a new day in Ohio,” said Representative Matt Huffman, a Republican who shepherded the plan.

While the proposal is aimed narrowly at state legislative districts, it could have an indirect impact on congressional districts because they are drawn by state lawmakers. President Obama carried Ohio, a quintessential swing state, by two percentage points in 2012. Yet Republicans have overwhelming majorities in Columbus, the capital, and a 12-to-4 advantage in congressional seats.

“When you’re an outsider looking in, it’s almost shocking,” said Senator Joe Schiavoni, the Democratic leader in the State Senate.

The plan explicitly prohibits maps drawn to favor or disfavor one party.

Republicans, who in some ways acted against their own interests, were motivated partly out of fear of a potential voter referendum that could impose an even more sweeping overhaul. . .

The proposed changes, which Ohioans must vote on in a November 2015 referendum to amend the State Constitution, would not go into effect until the next redistricting, in 2021.

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/12/21/us/politics/in-a-break-from-partisan-rancor-ohio-moves-to-make-elections-more-competitive.html?hp&action=click&pgtype=Homepage&module=second-column-region®ion=top-news&WT.nav=top-news

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Reply In a Break From Partisan Rancor, Ohio Moves to Make Elections More Competitive. (Original post)
elleng Dec 2014 OP
belzabubba333 Dec 2014 #1
marble falls Dec 2014 #3
belzabubba333 Dec 2014 #4
Erich Bloodaxe BSN Dec 2014 #2
Persondem Dec 2014 #5

Response to elleng (Original post)

Sun Dec 21, 2014, 04:53 PM

1. tom delay showed us that redistricting can happen any time of the decade

 

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Response to belzabubba333 (Reply #1)

Tue Dec 23, 2014, 09:15 AM

3. Call it what it is: gerrymandering.

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Response to marble falls (Reply #3)

Tue Dec 23, 2014, 10:06 AM

4. a rose by any other name......

 

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Response to elleng (Original post)

Sun Dec 21, 2014, 05:37 PM

2. We've had several failed referenda over the last few years.

They must have gotten tired of having to spend money defeating them, and hope this change will be enough to satisfy voters and stop an even more sweeping measure from passing in future.

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Response to elleng (Original post)

Tue Dec 23, 2014, 01:08 PM

5. this is a serious piece of good news and will hopefully ...

... be emulated by other states.

Until gerrymandering and Citizens United disappear from our political reality all other attempts at reform will have huge amounts of political inertia to overcome.

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