State Issue 4: Explanation and Argument FOR
Vote YES to restore competitiveness to Congressional and State legislative races in Ohio.
Issue 4 will help make politicians more accountable and responsive to constituents.
Issue 4 will combat corruption in state government by making politicians listen more to constituents and less to big donors and special interests.
Issue 4 designates an independent, non-partisan commission to draw legislative districts with a goal of making the districts competitive, while preserving communities and minority rights.
The independent commission will replace the current system, which allows politicians to draw the districts to serve their own partisan interests. Currently, using sophisticated computer models, the political party in power manipulates the districts to maximize the number of seats it is likely to win and minimize the number likely to be won by the opposing party. The result is "safe seats" where incumbents almost never lose.
Consider these shocking statistics, which reflect the problem nationally and in Ohio:
- In 435 U.S. House races last year, only 13 seats changed party;
- In Ohio, every Congressman and State Senator up for election was re-elected and only a handful of State House incumbents lost;
- In Ohio, the average margins of victory were 44 points in Congressional races, 35 points in State Senate races, and 38 points in State House races.
As one commentator states, "Competitive elections for the state legislature and Congress, with a handful of exceptions, no longer exist in Ohio."
Issue 4 will restore accountability by making elections meaningful again and in so doing make corruption less likely. Applying strict criteria in the amendment and considering proposals from the public the independent commission will maximize the number of competitive districts in Ohio and enhance the influence of all voters in the electoral process.
Submitted by: Reform Ohio Now, Inc., 3886 N. High Street, Columbus, Ohio 43214
Herb Asher and Ron Alexander, Co-Chairs
For more information: www.ReformOhioNow.org