From the Voters First Team

Every ten years in Ohio, the political party in power has been drawing Congressional and state legislative districts to protect their jobs and their friends.  This year we have seen it reach a particularly disquieting  point (made possible by the convergence of technology and unrestrained political ambition) that politicians are choosing their voters instead of the other way around.  This is of particular concern because if the deck is outrageously stacked in the favor of one particular candidate, general elections become a mere formality and having only the illusion choice (or in some cases only one choice) is the same as having no choice at all.

An excellent example of this happened just this year and resulted in what one prominent Ohio newspaper described as “the most egregious example of gerrymandering” in Ohio’s political history, while another described it as “larceny.”  Even Congressman Regula, an 18 term Republican from Stark County, called the decision to cut up his home county like a Thanksgiving turkey “outrageous”.

Every day, we are seeing and feeling the real impacts of this abuse of power as our state government pushes extreme legislation without regard for the millions of Ohioans it may harms.

Having politicians draw their own lines is like having foxes guard the hen house and it’s time for that to stop.  The politicians have rigged the system and want to keep it that way, but nothing is more important to the future of Ohio than protecting our right to fair and competitive elections.  We must take back our voices and our vote, by taking the power to draw these lines away from the politicians and put it back in the hands of the people.

The League of Woman Voters and several other non-partisan groups have come together to help.  They formed Voters First, a campaign committee that is working to place a Constitutional amendment on the November ballot that will remove politicians from the redistricting process and put and independent Citizens Commission of Ohioans in charge.  Politicians, lobbyists and political insiders will be prohibited from serving on the commission, and everything the commission does will be out in the open for all of us to see.

In order to get the measure on the ballot — so the voters can decide — the group must submit over 386,000 signatures by July 4.  It is a large amount of signatures and the groups is well on their way, but every one of us needs to pitch in and help them make this historic opportunity happen.  Not for one political party or another, but for the future of Ohio.

With your help we can make Independence Day 2012 the day we restore power to the people and declare independence from politicians.

There are only a few days left.  With just a few hours of your time this weekend, YOU can make the difference.  Pick up a petition, get 10 signatures and turn it in on Monday. Getting started is easy, visit www.votersfirstohio.com and find a location near you to pick up or sign a petition.

Evangelize!
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  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Anita-Cross/100003387654266 Anita Cross

    Independent! LOL….. LOL…… LOL! That’s it, let’s turn the process over to unelected, unaccountable political hacks.
    If you don’t like the way elections are turning out, change the rules right!

  • http://plunderbund.com Joseph

    In case you missed it, the current lines were drawn by unelected, overpaid, partisan political hacks with no relevant experience.

    http://www.plunderbund.com/2011/12/16/two-republican-staff-members-were-paid-210000-to-staff-the-state-redistricting-committee/

  • Clecinosu

    What rock did you just crawl out from under? Take a good look at the shapes of some of the districts drawn last time. You can’t fold paper into those shapes.

    The hacks are already drawing the districts. We need them out.

  • missskeptic

    We should hear by tomorrow if we are close on signatures. If we are, we will probably be granted an additional 10 days to gather signatures, so don’t stop gathering signatures because you believe the initial time limit is up. I have heard from reliable sources that the requisite number of signatures will be reached; however, there are always a number of non-eligible signatures that will be disallowed, so we always need more. Remember, this is not a change to the law (Attention: Anita Cross), this is an initiative that will go onto the November ballot and the citizens of Ohio will get to decide the outcome, not politicians. And if the citizens of Ohio decide to change the law, it will go into effect for the 2014 elections, we don’t have to wait until 2020 to see changes. Anita, the Republicans have overstepped their authority, and the citizens of Ohio have every right to change the law if the law has been grossly distorted.

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