Issue 2 was defeated last week. Had it passed it would have put together a non-partisan panel to gather and conduct what is called "redistricting" or the re-drawing of congressional lines within the state. As it stands right now, the party in power has the power to re-draw the lines. So for the last ten years that means the Republicans have been re-drawing district lines to ensure they stay in power as the voice for Ohio, even though we are the very definition of a swing state and vote almost 50/50.
"This is a tossup state, the battleground of battlegrounds, except when you stack the deck," says Steve Fought, a Democrat who worked on the congressional campaigns of Toledo's Marcy Kaptur and Copley Township's Betty Sutton. "That is the only way they were able to hold their power in Ohio and the only way they were able to hold their power in the House of Representatives. But you have to give them credit. They knew what they were doing and it worked."
In the Cleveland Plain Dealer: "Ohio Republicans have made the redistricting process work to their advantage in recent years after gaining full control of the process in both 2000 and 2010. Despite voting patterns that show a fairly even division between the parties, Republicans have secured a greater number of the congressional seats. Here is a comparison of the votes following the four most recent re-drawings of the congressional maps"
· 1982-1990 State votes 51% (Democrat) 49% (Republican) and has the same percentage of representation in congress
· 1992-2000 State vote 47% (D) 53% ( R ) and has a 42% (D) 58% ( R ) representation in Congress
· 2002-2010 Sate votes 49% (D) and 51% (R) and is redistricted to have a 38% (D) and 63% (R) representation in Congress
· 2012 State votes 48% (D) and 52% (R) and redistricted again by the Republicans to have 25% (D) and 75% (R) representation in Congress
It blows my mind that this is happening and that it is perfectly legal. When Ohioans voted no to issue 2 they voted yes to more of this partisan redistricting. How is it right to move lines and edge out congressmen and women that are on the opposite side of the aisle? Ohioans are a diverse voice but if you look at our congressional representation, you'd never know it. Twelve republicans and four democrats represent a state that votes almost 50/50. Something is not right about that.
Do you think the Republicans have "stacked the deck" in Ohio? What do you think about that?