Opinion | Issue 2 redistricting reform is necessary, though not ideal
Published: Monday, September 10, 2012
Updated: Monday, September 10, 2012 22:09
Issue 2, appearing on ballots in November, would change the process of redistricting in the state of Ohio. Currently, district lines may be redrawn every ten years according to population statistics determined by the census.
This process often features gerrymandering, or the manipulating of district borders by either political party to gain or maintain a voting advantage.
Galvanized by the League of Women Voters in Ohio, the Voters First campaign aims to replace this current redistricting system with a citizen commission. The commission would include four Democrats, four Republicans and four Independents selected by appellate judges of Ohio.
The Miami Student editorial board believes that though the redistricting process requires reform, this appointment method proposed in Issue 2 by the League of Women Voters leaves us with a few questions.
Both Democrats and Republicans are guilty of drawing district lines in dishonest ways in the past. It’s obvious that a change in this system is necessary to avoid inappropriate manipulation of districts, and in theory, the method suggested in Issue 2 would be more neutral.
However, we are concerned this may not be the ideal solution. Replacing the current system, which is guided by politicians, with one that is directed by judge-appointed individuals might not solve the issues of bias or unfairness with redistricting.
Interest groups or the judges themselves could exercise influence over the appointees, and therefore create a process just as problematic as the current one.
We are pleased to see the issue of redistricting in the state of Ohio coming into the minds and debates of voters, as reform should occur. We are just not completely convinced that the current problems would be solved by the passage of Issue 2.
We have a lot of questions about the validity of both the current and the proposed system, most importantly; how do you create a system that fights against human nature to be biased?
This fall, when voters head to the ballots, they should consider how both systems affect them and their district to determine which of the two seems more transparent.