Husted Testifies for Redistricting Plan

Husted Testifies for Redistricting Plan

Wednesday, May 6th, 2009

Dayton Daily News Blog, William Hershey, April 21, 2009. Sen. Jon Husted, R-Kettering, on Tuesday, April 21, gave the first testimony supporting his plan to change the way Ohio draws state legislative and congressional districts.

“I am presenting to you a proposal that would end the partisan gerrymandering of legislative and congressional districts that allows the politicians to pick the voters rather than allowing the voters to pick their public officials,” Husted said in testimony prepared for the Senate State and Local Government and Veterans’ Affairs Committee. Senate Joint Resolution 5 would establish a bipartisan, seven-member commission to oversee the creation of the districts after each census. Husted wants the legislature to put the proposal before voters in November.

“Our current method of redistricting is a winner take all system that ranks Ohio as one of the most partisan states in the country,” Husted, who is running for secretary of state in 2010, said in his prepared testimony. “This system has led to partisan control of government and serves as an incentive to work in a partisan manner.”

The commission would replace the five-member Apportionment Board for drawing legislative districts and the legislature for drawing U.S. House districts.

Each of the four legislative leaders would appoint a member to the commission and those four members, by unanimous vote, would select the other three. If they cannot agree on the other three, each would submit a name to the governor. The governor, in public view, would randomly select the three additional members from the four proposed names.

Each legislative and congressional district would have to meet compactness guidelines. Also, the plan calls on the commission to maximize the number of competitive districts.

A five-vote supermajority would be required to approve any redistricting plan.

“The time is now for Ohio to adopt this proposal to end the partisan gerrymandering that serves political parties over the public,” Husted said in his prepared testimony.