If there were any doubt that the people of Ohio were weary of the gerrymandering of legislative and congressional districts, it was removed on Election Day, when more than 70 percent of voters supported a new Ohio Redistricting Commission that will eliminate gerrymandering.
Gerrymandering is the process of redrawing legislative and congressional district lines after every census to reflect population changes in a way that favors one party.
That’s what happened in North Carolina, where Republicans have drawn crazy-quilt districts using tactics such as packing African-American voters – who tend to vote Democratic – into a handful of districts, leaving Republicans with an advantage in overall numbers of senators, representatives and members of Congress.
In Ohio, voters saw a redistricting poisoned by partisanship that, according to Richard Gunther of Ohio State University, meant Republicans kept a supermajority in the state House despite the fact that Democrats got 55,000 more votes than Republicans overall.
Ohio’s new commission is a step toward better, more responsible and more honest government. If only North Carolina’s legislators would follow this example.