WHAT SHOULD I BE DOING INSTEAD OF THIS?
 
 
by German Lopez 07.20.2012
Posted In: 2012 Election, Republicans, News at 04:16 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 
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Redistricting Reform Amendment Still Needs Signatures

Voters First says it will gather the signatures necessary by July 28 deadline

Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted announced Wednesday Voters First did not turn in enough valid signatures for its redistricting reform amendment. The organization will now have to gather 130,000 more signatures before July 28 if the amendment is to appear on the November ballot. The organization fired back in a statement Wednesday, saying it will still have enough signatures to get the amendment on the ballot. “We never stopped collecting signatures even after filing our first round of petitions on July 3rd,” Dennis Willard, spokesperson for Voters First, said in the statement. The organization has criticized Republicans for building a campaign against the Voters First amendment. In an email to Voters First supporters Wednesday, Ann Henkener, a board member of the League of Women Voters, said Republicans were holding meetings to find ways to stop the amendment. Henkener may not be far off. Dayton Daily News reported Tuesday that Republicans have launched Protect Your Vote Ohio, a PAC in opposition to the Voters First amendment. David Langdon, a Cincinnati-based conservative, was named as the PAC’s treasurer. If the Voters First amendment appeared on the ballot and passed, redistricting would be placed in the hands of an independent citizens commission. Under the current system, district boundaries are redrawn every 10 years by state officials — a system politicians have taken advantage of by redrawing districts in politically advantageous ways. Cincinnati’s district was redrawn during the Republican-controlled process to include more suburban and rural areas, particularly Warren County, in a move that could give Republicans an advantage on Election Day.
 
 

Ohio GOP Questions Redistricting Petition Signatures

0 Comments · Wednesday, July 18, 2012
The Ohio Republican Party announced July 17 that it will be scrutinizing petition signatures for an amendment that would reform Ohio’s redistricting laws.  
by Hannah McCartney 07.12.2012
Posted In: Republicans, State Legislature, News, Government at 01:05 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 
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Attempt to Overturn GOP Redistricting Moves Forward

Organization submits 450,000 petition signatures to Ohio Secretary of State

Ohio's House Bill 369 has been causing fuss across the state since it was signed into law by Ohio Gov. John Kasich last December, and opponents of the bill are close to getting an amendment onto the November ballot that would redesign the congressional districts instituted by the bill.  On July 3, Voters First, a coalition established after HB-369's inception to combat the bill's Republican-led efforts to deliberately have congressional and legislative districts drawn in their favor, submitted 450,000 petition signatures to the Ohio Secretary of State — significantly more than the 385,000 signatures necessary to obtain a spot on the November ballot. At the end of the month, the Secretary of State will review the signatures and determine which are eligible, after which the coalition will have another set period to obtain more signatures, should the 385,000 not be met. Opponents of HB-369 argue the drawing of last year's new congressional districts represents gerrymandering — when district boundaries are deliberately manipulated to favor a specific political party, grouping certain demographics strategically and distorting voter representations. According to Voters First, last year's secretive redistricting process was led exclusively by Republicans who deliberately disregarded public input. They've been working to amass support for a new bill that would bring transparency and fairness to the redistricting process, which typically occurs every ten years following a census. According to Dan Tokaji, an Ohio State University law professor and member of the Voters First coalition, the issue is one that crosses all party lines. "This is not a Republican vs. Democrat issue. [Gerrymandering] has been done by both parties. The opposition has been trying to characterize this as a Democrat-led effort." What has happened, explains Tokaji, is that in Ohio the Republicans currently hold political control, so it just so happens that they jumped on the redistricting opportunity to create districts that specifically advantage them. "You could throw a bucket of paint on the wall and it wouldn't be as ugly as these maps," says Tokaji. In Cincinnati, the redistricting included more suburban and rural areas in the city's Congressional district, potentially giving Republicans greater weight in the district (CityBeat reported on the situation May 30 in response to We Are Ohio joining the effort to overturn the GOP-drawn maps.) Voters First has proposed an amendment for the November ballot that would bring transparency and fairness to the redistricting process by establishing a 12-member "Ohio Citizens Independent Redistricting Commission" that would be made up of non-partisan Ohio citizens. According to Tokaji, members would have to go through an application process that would specifically eliminate politicians, lobbyists and large political donors. Tokaji says the commission would bring to the redistricting process four key components that were deliberately absent in the 2011 process, including fairness, encouragement of competition, respect for community boundaries and compactness of districts. "Ohioans across the political spectrum are just tired of politics as usual. They're sick of leaders acting in a selfish way. We need to change that. To read the full text of Voters First’s proposed amendment, click here. For more information about Voters First or to sign the petition, click here.
 
 

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