What is Gerrymandering?
Gerrymandering is the manipulation of political districts to rig the outcome of elections to favor one political party over another. Both Democrats and Republicans have engaged in gerrymandering but this type of map-making reduces voter choices and leads to fewer competitive elections and elected officials who are less accountable to their constituents.
The word gerrymandering is based on a political cartoon that highlighted the map-making shenanigans of Massachusetts Governor Elbridge Gerry. This memorable image was crafted in reaction to a state senate district which looked like a salamander. This political cartoon clearly highlighted the unfairness of breaking communities apart. It is now more than 200 years old.
It is time to stop gerrymandering Ohio House of Representative and Ohio Senate districts! Issue 1 creates fair compact districts that do not favor or disfavor one political party over another.
How do map-makers create unfair districts?The party that has the majority can pack voters of the minority party into one district so that they reduce the number of minority districts. The majority party can also crack voters of the minority into a number of districts diluting their voting power.
It’s time to stop the games! Issue 1 keeps communities together and prohibits crafting districts to favor or disfavor one political party over another.
I’m not a Democrat or Republican. Why should I care?
Gerrymandering gives all voters fewer choices. Districts that lean heavily in one direction or the other mean that the real competition happens in the primary and elected officials are more tied to their political parties than their voters.
It’s time for fair districts and fair elections! Issue 1 keeps communities together, prohibits hyper-partisan gerrymandering and creates more transparency.
Watch the trailer for Gerrymandering, a 2010 documentary feature that explores the history and the ethical, moral and racial problems raised by redistricting.