Better Redistricting 11/16/11

How bad is House Bill 319? Ohio is a swing state because there are nearly as many Democratic voters as Republican ones. Yet HB 319 produces a 12-4 Republican advantage and only two competitive districts. It does this by splitting counties into 65 county fragments. There is a better way. The Campaign for Accountable Redistricting held a contest to allow people to produce sensible maps which followed all the federal and state rules. The winner was a Republican legislator, Mike Fortner. Unfortunately he was an Illinois state legislator. Sen. Thomas Sawyer introduced SB 225, which proposes that map (OCAR - B) be adopted for the new congressional districts. What are the advantages of the map? It keeps 79 of Ohio's 88 counties in a single district, provides for 11 competitive districts, and creates districts that are evenly balanced between Democrats and Republicans. Compact competitive districts are exactly what good government advocates push for. We could have them in Ohio if we reject HB 319 and adopt SB 225. Sign the petition to repeal HB 319. Tell your friends and neighbors about Mike Fortner, Thomas Sawyer and SB 225. There is a better way. If there are issues you would like me to discuss, please let me know at bode.1@osu.edu.