LIMA — It has taken approximately 35 years to get Ohio Issue 1 on the ballot, and Candace Newland, president of the Lima area League of Women Voters, said she is confident that it will pass and put an end to gerrymandering.
Whichever political party has a majority in a state’s House and Senate, as well as control of the governor’s office, is typically in the position to take advantage of gerrymandering, redefining boundaries of a political subdivision to give the party in power an advantage in retaining that seat.
“They [the dominant political party] did it to their advantage,” said Millie Hughes, President of the Kiwanis Club of Lima during the Kiwanis meeting on Tuesday. “You’ll draw the map so that you’ll win. You want to have a population where your state representative will represent the popular view so that there is commonality, which can’t happen because of gerrymandering,”
Passage of Issue 1 will create a bipartisan, public process for drawing congressional districts, according to the Ohio Secretary of State website.
“What this issue will do is more evenly divide the state and this table will show how things will monitored to make it benefit one group over another,” said Newland. “Right now, if you’re a Republican, you’re pretty happy, but if you’re a Democrat, you’re probably not very happy.”
Newland acknowledged that the issue is supported by Democrats and Republicans, which makes her feel confident about the issue passing on May 8.
“It’s really a good chance that it will pass,” said Newland. “It’s about fair representation for both parties and the government. It’s an important thing for the value of our vote. We encourage you to vote with knowledge.”
Mauri Cron, former Mayor of Coldwater, also voiced his frustration with gerrymandering during Tuesday’s meeting. He explained how Mercer County has three different congressional districts with two precincts on the south side and two precincts on the north side of Grand Lake.
“In Mercer County we have four precincts that are representative of Jim Jordan and another part of the district is representative of John Boehner’s replacement,” said Cron. “That’s got to be one of the most stupid drawings of he congressional district that I’ve ever seen in my life.”
For more information on the league’s support for Issue 1, go to lwvlima.org.
Reach Camri Nelson at 567-242-0456 or on Twitter @CamriNews.