Maps must be drawn fairly for all Ohioans

We know now Ohio will lose a seat in Congress after the 2020 Census tally has been completed. That’s 60 years now in which Ohio has lost a representative in Washington, D.C., every decade. Our state clearly has some work to do if it is to sustain population growth to the degree that will reverse this trend.

Gov. Mike DeWine and lawmakers have some ideas about that, and there is reason to believe they may have some success.

But there is another challenge to address in regard to the 2020 Census results. Ohio’s congressional map must be redrawn. Again.

According to some assessments, Ohio is the most gerrymandered state in the country. For those who have seen that word tossed around a lot, but may have only a vague sense of its meaning, it means to outsiders Ohio looks more as though its political map was drawn to benefit a certain political party or a certain class than any other state.

In creating 15 districts, rather than 16, Ohio must avoid the mistakes of the past.

“One of the things we know we won’t have is ‘the snake on the lake,'” said Catherine Turcer, executive director of Common Cause Ohio, referring to Ohio’s 9th District, which strings along Lake Erie to merge the distant cities of Toledo and Cleveland.

One would hope. But Ohioans must also remind those drawing the map they will not stand for gerrymander that benefits ANY segment of the population over another. There must be no effort to overcompensate for past wrongs by drawing maps that now favor a new group.

Draw fair maps that will provide ALL Ohioans the representation they deserve in Congress. Who knows? If others get the idea Ohio is working to do right by its residents, it will change a few minds about moving to the state themselves.


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