During Monday’s Apportionment Board field hearing at the University of Toledo, witnesses and Rep. Clyde highlighted the need for a fair and open process as the Republican-controlled Board redraws the boundaries of General Assembly districts. Excerpts from the Toledo Blade article by Tom Troy follow:
“A witness urged the Ohio Apportionment Board Monday in Toledo to redraw state House districts that are based on ‘compactness’ and ‘competitiveness,’ rather than on maximizing incumbent re-election chances.
“Catherine Turcer, director of the Ohio Citizen Action’s Money in Politics Project… called for more competitive districts that reflect the state’s relatively even distribution of Democrats and Republicans, instead of devising districts just to maximize the number of Republican-controlled House seats.
“’…I’m here to encourage you to focus on the voters rather than focusing on outcomes,’ Ms. Turcer said.
“Ms. Turcer thanked the board for its traveling hearings, but a couple of Democrats criticized the value of the meetings because no proposed maps have been published yet.
“‘This is a combination of a farce and a joke,’ said state Rep. Dennis Murray (D., Sandusky) of the 80th House district… They’re having a hearing before there’s anything to talk about.’
“State Rep. Kathleen Clyde (D., Kent), a stand-in for apportionment board member Armond Budish (D., Beachwood), said the lack of maps rendered the hearings somewhat pointless.
“’This process I think is antiquated and kind of contrary to the will of the people,’ Ms. Clyde said. ‘I’m in the House, which is supposed to be the people’s house, but it doesn’t seem to reflect the will of the people. I just think the process stinks and Ohio deserves better. There’s no reason we shouldn’t have maps right now. The data’s been available since April.’
Read the full article here.