Time for action on redistricting
Surely Ohio legislators can do the same thing for the state’s congressional districts that they did for themselves in 2015 — find a more nonpartisan method of redistricting in reaction to population changes.
Republican leaders in the General Assembly reportedly have little interest in the idea, however. State Senate President Larry Obhof, R-Medina, has expressed concern about weakening lawmakers’ power over the process.
But the way legislators do things now clearly allows the political party in power to gerrymander congressional districts in order to keep sending members of its party to Washington. That may sound like a good idea for Republicans who control the General Assembly now, but what about the future when, inevitably, Democrats at some point will win legislative majorities?
Legislative district lines will be drawn in the future through a system adopted in 2015. It has drawn praise for being a bipartisan process, more aligned with serving people and communities than with helping politicians.
Buckeye State congressional districts will have to be redrawn again after the 2020 Census is conducted. That may seem like plenty of time for state officials to hash out a new method of redistricting, but given the partisan maneuvering that no doubt will accompany the process, four years or so may be no more than adequate.
Gov. John Kasich, himself a Republican, is pushing lawmakers to begin crafting a new strategy for redistricting. He is absolutely correct to view it as an idea whose time has come.