Lawmakers Playing Monkey-In-The-Middle With Voters

This is my third iteration of this commentary.

I’m having a hard time keeping up with our Ohio legislature when it comes to the congressional redistricting that the Republications have pushed through.

Maybe my struggle has to do with the games these lawmakers are playing with our votes – and our political well being. It reminds me of monkey-in-the-middle, but instead of a ball, they’re playing with votes – and the ballot box. It seems to happen this way every 10 years, when states must change the districts depending on Census results. This time around, Ohio loses two congressional seats.

The new congressional map that was approved by both houses in late September may make it easier for Democrats to compete in a few districts, but it makes it harder for them to complete anywhere else.

And to add fuel to the fire, the House tried to block a referendum vote on the map by adding a $2.9-million provision to help counties implement the new districts. Luckily the Ohio Supreme Court rejected the move.

So now Democrats are trudging forward in obtaining the more than 200,000 signatures required to put the congressional districts on the November 2012 ballot. What this would do, more than anything, is delay the new districts until after the 2012 election.  But because the US constitution manadates we  draw new maps before 2012, the process may be left to federal judges – appointed federal judges

You now see why it was hard for me to get this commentary written. Things keep changing. And change they still will. And now Republican lawmakers  are working with Democrats to come up with a new plan to avoid a referendum in general.


And, Ohio Secretary of State John Husted and his Republican friends have announced that they are willing to consider a different, less partisan way of redistricting – next time.

I am not too naive to think this is only a Republican issue, though. In the past, Democrats have been just as bad when it comes to thinking of themselves instead of Ohio voters.

It would be great if Husted actually would follow through on his plan to find a new way of drawing district lines. It just seems that no matter how the lines have been drawn, the system has gotten further and further away from being democratic.

Legislators need to stop being so childish and playing monkey in the middle with Ohio voters. We’re not dumb. We see what’s happening with our government.

Grow up and draw a straight line. It would make my job of writing about this a heck of a lot easier.

  • Peter Boyle

    There is a professor at OSU that has a way to draw the lines that do NOT take into account any political considerations such as party registration or past voting history. As Independents now out number either the Democrats or Republicans, I think a Scientific redraw is the best move with the least squabbling.