Ohio has some of the most gerrymandered districts in the country and it’s time to put an end to it, 2018 Democratic Ohio Secretary of State Candidate Kathleen Clyde said in an interview last month.
“This is a serious problem that we need to address in our state,” she said. “I’m a die-hard fan of fair districts for Ohio and I hope my record speaks for that.”
Clyde’s record includes an entire career of standing up for voter rights, election integrity and fair district maps.
Clyde supported the state legislative redistricting reform passed by Ohio voters in 2015 with 71 percent, and supports a proposed constitutional amendment to do the same with U.S. Congressional redistricting, hopefully on the November 2018 ballot.
She noted that the proposal is being advocated by a wide variety of non-partisan organizations, such as the Ohio League of Women Voters.
The Ohio Secretary of State, Governor and Auditor sit on the redistricting board for state legislative districts. If Congressional redistricting is passed by voters as proposed, those officials would all sit on that board as well when districts are next drawn in 2021.
“I’m very committed to drawing fair districts,” Clyde said. “What we have now is Republican super majorities in the Ohio House and Ohio Senate despite Ohio being pretty much a 50-50 state. And 75 percent of our Congressional districts are Republican. This is unfair. It’s wrong. It’s another way we treat Ohio voters very poorly, and we need to do better.”
Clyde said it’s a shame that the Ohio legislature isn’t doing the right thing and putting Congressional redistricting on the ballot for voters to decide. Their refusal has led to the massive signature-gathering effort that’s underway in Ohio.
Looking at the 2018 cycle, Clyde said it’s important to remember that redistricting will happen after the 2020 U.S. Census, while those elected this year are still in office. This means they’ll be drawing district maps that last through 2030.
“This is an election that really impacts Ohio for a decade,” she said. “Everything in my history show that I’ve been committed to fair districts. My opponent in this race voted for the most gerrymandered Congressional map in Ohio history, and he’s also introduced proposals that would maintain the status quo.”
There is a stark difference between Republicans on this issue and Democrats, she said.
“We are committed to drawing fair districts, and I’m hopeful that we’ll have that opportunity,” Clyde said.