Associated Press: Slow population growth costs Ohio a House seat, census shows
Catherine Turcer, executive director of Common Cause Ohio, said the new rules Ohio voters have approved will require districts to be more compact — by keeping counties and municipalities whole, among other things — and will make districts more competitive.
“One of the things we know we won’t have is ‘the snake on the lake,’” she said, referring to Ohio’s 9th District, which strings along Lake Erie to merge the distant cities of Toledo and Cleveland, both heavily Democratic. That’s a gerrymandering tactic that merges areas where one party dominates, no matter how distant they might be, into the same district as a way to dilute their voters’ political power when electing members of Congress or the state legislature.
Eliminating that level of manipulation will mean both Republican and Democratic incumbents could see tougher contests next fall, Turcer said.