Have you ever wondered why the same districts in Ohio consistently go for the same political party time and time again? Have you ever wondered why there seems to be a genuine disconnect between your elected official and the constituents that elect that person to serve them?
Why is it that most of the districts in the city where I live historically vote for Democratic candidates? Some of this is just natural. Urban areas value different things than rural. Some areas are simply more conservative than others.
But even as the population shifts, state legislative districts have consistently favored one political party over the other— the party of the map-makers. We may be a swing state but state legislative districts are currently rigged to favor of the Republican Party, and when the map-making was controlled by Democrats, they crafted legislative districts to favor Democrats. This hyper-partisan map-making is called gerrymandering.
The term gerrymandering comes from a Boston Gazette political cartoon about an unfair district crafted by Governor Elbridge Gerry in 1812. Governor Gerry created a district that resembled a salamander and benefitted his political party. Despite obvious unfairness, unfair map-making continued and the term gerrymander stuck. Gerry is remembered for his “creativity” and not for serving as vice president during James Madison’s tenure.
Gerrymandering has been going on for more than 200 years! Today Ohio House and Ohio Senate districts are carved up in order to pack voters together or crack and divide communities for partisan advantage.
Early voting starts on October 6 and a YES vote for Issue 1 is a vote for fair elections! Let’s take a stand. Issue 1 is the opportunity to address historically unfair gerrymandering that has plagued us for over 200 years.
By voting YES on Issue 1, we will be making history and will change the course of representative democracy for the better. Together let’s make our vote more meaningful and emboldening the voice of the people!