With 46 days remaining until Election Day, the North Central Ohio Conservatives have strong concerns about Issue 2 and redistricting.
Steve Ewing, field director for Protect Your Vote Ohio, said during a meeting Thursday evening at Camden Falls that Issue 2 essentially removes the elected official from representing the electorate during the time of redistricting.
Issue 2 proposes a state funded commission of 12 appointed officials would be selected to redistrict the state, and they would serve for 10 years.
PHOTO BY NICK DUTRO
State Sen. Dave Burke, R-Marysville, speaks at a North Central Ohio Conservatives meeting Thursday evening at Camden Falls.
Issue 2 was created to set fair district lines, but Ewing said it takes the power out of the voters' hands because they have no control over who is appointed to the commission.
"I don't think it'll ever be perfect," he said. "I don't think the politics will ever be taken out of redistricting. I think this is the most political part of our political process."
Ewing admitted Ohio's current district set up has issues and there is a need to change the process, but he does not think Issue 2 should pass.
"I don't like to see a step in the right direction be put in the Constitution," he said. "Let's figure out something great, and pass it as a bill and if it's that good, it will stand on its own merits."
State Senator Dave Burke, R-Marysville, who hopes to reclaim a spot in Columbus in November, also opposes Issue 2, saying it "removes the voter completely."
"Districts will never be fair," he said. "We can try to make them (more fair), but I guarantee you somebody is always going to be unhappy."
Burke, who represents Ohio Senate District 26, said he has been successful by being visible in his district.
"It's not about taking Columbus back to the district," he said, "it's about taking the district back to Columbus."
Burke said he has used his experience as a pharmacist to address the drug issue in the state. He wrote Legislation fighting prescription drug abuse, Ohio House Bill 93, called the "pill mill bill," and has worked on legislation to make synthetic drugs like K2 and bath salts illegal.
"I may not be the best politician, I may not say the right words all the time," Burke said. "But I do know one thing, I know right from wrong. I've got a sense of balance."