Sept. 9, 2011
Pat Clifford, (513) 312-7700
Ohio Redistricting Forum Demands Data
Every ten years, politicians play an increasingly sophisticated and partisan game that has few rules and involves almost no scrutiny. A crowd gathered on the campus of Hebrew Union College this Thursday heard a clear call from state and national experts as to the consequences for inaction. “Without reform, this political game threatens voter confidence and encourages the current trend toward hyper-partisanship in our civic dialogue,” warned Greg Rabidoux, the National Director for Redistricting for Common Cause.
The urgency of this issue became apparent in light of two hearings set for next week in Columbus at which political maps may be presented and approved with essentially no chance for the public to have meaningful input. The first of these hearings, held by the House State Government and Elections Committee, is scheduled for 1:30 p.m. next Tuesday at the Statehouse.
Civic groups working together with the Ohio Campaign for Accountable Redistricting have repeatedly called for at least a two-week window for the public to review any proposed Congressional maps. The Campaign has displayed the results of its own redistricting competition--with concrete data on compactness and competitiveness--on its website, www.drawthelineohio.org.
With advances in technology, now more than every before, maps can be judged and ranked by objective criteria that measure relative compactness, competitiveness and other criteria. However to do so, maps need to be provided in the “Block Equivalency File” format, which makes them readable by standard mapping software.
Common Cause Ohio urges State Representative Matt Huffman, Chairman of the Committee, to ensure that Block Equivalency File maps are available immediately to ensure adequate time for public review and comment.
State Representative Matt Huffman
Phone: (614) 466-9624
Common Cause is a nonpartisan, grassroots organization dedicated to restoring the core values of American democracy, reinventing an open, honest and accountable government capable of solving today’s challenges to the public interest, and empowering ordinary people to make their voices heard in a government that belongs to them.