Ohio redistricting commission must remember for whom it works

What a mess. Ohio’s redistricting process just keeps running up against one political obstacle after another.

Late last week there was a double hit, as Thursday night Gov. Mike DeWine canceled a planned Friday meeting of the Ohio Redistricting Commission because Republican lawmakers still cannot agree on who to appoint as their party’s co-chair on the commission. And, state Attorney General Dave Yost again rejected petition language for a constitutional amendment that would change the system for making political maps.

Though representatives of Citizens Not Politicians maintain their second submission of language included the adjustments Yost requested after the first, Yost said in a rejection letter to the group there still was a “critical omission” in leaving out how party affiliation would be determined under the new system.

There are two former Ohio Supreme Court justices in the group hoping to place the proposal on next year’s fall ballot. If Yost and his team are hoping to out-legalese them, he might be in over his head. But, then again, it seems those folks should have no trouble making sure they’ve followed Yost’s instructions to the letter. Given the likelihood they will do so, it will be interesting to see whether their next attempt succeeds with Yost’s office.

Their aim is to give Ohioans the chance to vote on whether the Ohio Redistricting Commission continues to be made up of the same bunch of politicians incapable of making even the most basic decisions now; or whether it is made up of an independent body selected directly by citizens.

Even DeWine agrees the system in place does not work. Certainly, he must be frustrated with the degree to which his fellow commission members are straining to prove him right.

There are ducks to be gotten in a row on all sides. Commission members must remember for whom they work, and get to it; and those hoping to change the system have got to be serious enough about it not to again be beaten on technicalities.


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