Ohio Ballot Measure Would Allow Panel to Redraw Congressional Maps

Monday, 05 Nov 2012 09:54 AM

By Katie Lotman and Patrick Hobin

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Ohio residents will decide on Tuesday on a proposed constitutional amendment that would take the power of redrawing both congressional and state legislative districts out of the hands of elected officials and give it to a new citizen panel.

Currently, state lawmakers decide the boundaries of Ohio’s 16 U.S. House districts. If enacted, the panel would redraw last year’s approved districts in time for the November 2014 election.

“Lines have been drawn to favor incumbents and have effectively made hyper-partisan primary elections more important than general elections,” according to the Dayton Daily News. The solution, a group proposes, is to remove politicians from the process.

Issue 2 would create a panel of 12 members chosen from a candidate pool which is determined by appellate court judges and party officials.

“Issue 2 creates a new taxpayer-funded bureaucracy that is not accountable to voters or elected representatives,’’ Carlo Loparo, spokesman of Protect Your Vote Ohio, the GOP-backed committee opposing Issue 2, told the Toledo Blade.

“It could be very expensive,’’ he said. “The estimate from the Office of Budget and Management is that Issue 2 would cost $15 million in just eight years of implementation. That’s a lot of money to spend on a plan that major Ohio newspapers and entrusted legal organizations like the Ohio State Bar Association and Judicial Conference believe is deeply flawed.’’

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