Moderator: Karen Kasler, Statehouse News Bureau, Ohio Public Radio
Representative Michael Curtin, Ohio House of Representatives, District 17
Senator Frank LaRose, Ohio Senate, District 27
The issue of redistricting has been a perennial issue in Ohio. It bubbled to the surface again last year when State Issue 2, the ballot proposal to reform redistricting by amending the state constitution, was put on the November ballot. Secretary of State Jon Husted was open in his opposition to the proposal while several non-partisan groups such as The League of Women Voters, Citizen Action and the Ohio Council of Churches strongly supported the amendment drafted by two Ohio State University professors.
Representative Mike Curtin is the former associate publisher and editor of The Dispatch. Rep. Curtain supported State Issue 2 last year because he believed it would establish a much better process than the one we have now. The GOP, including Speaker of the Ohio House of Representatives, William Batchelder launched a war against Issue 2. After winning control of the Ohio Statehouse in 2010, they also won control of the redistricting process. Some argue that the Republicans are eager to preserve a District map that is gerrymandered in their favor. Senator Frank LaRose, of Ohio's 27th District, is part of a small group working to improve the process for the future.
The only thing the majority of people agree on, is that there is no perfect plan. Both Republicans and Democrats have promised to work together for the past forty years to no avail. After the failure of Issue 2, the Ohio Constitutional Modernization Commission will revisit the issue again.