Historic: Ohio Voters Just Banned Gerrymandering, Restoring Faith In Democracy


By Steven Bernstein

Typically, laws are implemented through the legislative process by our elected representatives. Twenty-six states and Washington, D.C., however, allow for a system of referendums  or public initiatives – a sort of veto right for their citizens, and Ohio is one of them. On Tuesday, Ohioans overwhelmingly approved an amendment to their state constitution called Issue 1– calling for a renewal in the democratic process by more fairly drawing up voting districts. In fact, according to Cleveland.com “with 92% of the vote counted this morning the issue was passing 72 percent to 28 percent with ‘yes’ votes in favor of the referendum outnumbering ‘no’ votes by 1.2 million.”

Issue 1 was sponsored by Common Cause Ohio and the League of Women Voters of Ohio to help organize fair districting in the election process, and they are jubilant over their victory. “For so long, these state legislative districts have been drawn to favor one party over the other” said Catherine Turcer of Common Cause. “This is an amendment that does renew faith in the democratic process.” Carrie Davis, executive director of the League of Women Voters of Ohio said: “Ohio voters sent a clear message today…They want districts to be fair and the winners to be determined by the voters.”

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