• 63°

Bipartisan redistricting reform is achievable

Ohioans know that their state, through its General Assembly and Apportionment Board, draws congressional and legislative districts unfairly. On Nov. 6, Ohioans rightly rejected a proposed reform, Issue 2, because of its many frailties.

But recognizing the frailties of Issue 2 in no way diminishes the fact that Ohio’s redistricting methods are unacceptable to anyone who genuinely cares about democracy. …

The Ohio General Assembly redrew congressional districts after the 2010 census to grossly favor Republicans. And Ohio’s five-member Apportionment Board, which Republicans run 4-1, and which Republican Gov. John Kasich chairs, redrew Ohio House and Senate districts to favor Republicans.

It’s no response to say, as some do, that Democrats have done the same thing when they could, or that there’s no taking politics out of politics — that gerrymandering, the 200-year old term for these antics, is inevitable.

Gerrymandering attempts may be inevitable. But they needn’t be successful. …

A good place to start would be a concept suggested by Republican Secretary of State Jon Husted: Require a bipartisan redistricting commission to draw districts, and also require a supermajority vote of the commission, with “yes” votes from commissioners of both parties, to approve redrawn districts. …

The important thing is get the ball rolling for change. And that can’t happen soon enough.

The (Cleveland) Plain Dealer