Cleveland.com/The Plain Dealer: Rigged legislative districts boost partisanship, diminish compromise: Civil Discourse Initiative
The reform proposals that voters adopted during the last decade to stop gerrymandering were thwarted because redistricting remained in the hands of politicians, says Common Cause Ohio Executive Director Catherine Turcer.
Now, she’s supporting a new citizen initiative that would put an independent citizen commission in charge of mapmaking. She said states that redistricted through independent citizen commissions got legislative and congressional district lines that didn’t unfairly favor one party or another.
“Ohioans put good rules into the Ohio Constitution, and those rules would have been adequate if elected officials had actually followed them rather than drawing lines that favored one political party,” says Turcer. “These folks are drunk on power. What do you do with someone who is drunk? You take away their keys.”
Turcer, Miller, and others who back the upcoming proposal for an independent commission say legislative maps in Arizona, California, Colorado and Michigan became more competitive after they were drawn by an independent commission.