Opponents of Issue 2, a proposal to change the procedure for redrawing Ohio's legislative districts, argue the plan is imperfect. But neither is the current arrangement for drafting legislative boundaries. Just look at the new districts crafted after the most recent census, and that is obvious.
What Issue 2 needs to do is improve the process. We think it will. Here is why:
It would replace elected officials - politicians - who comprise the redistricting board with a 12-member Citizens Commission.
The commission would include four Republicans, four Democrats and four independent members. The goal is to have a balanced, impartial group.
The commission's meetings and records would be open to the public, and drafts of redistricting plans would be made public.
The commission's priorities would be to create districts that are geographically compact and avoid dividing cities, counties, townships and wards between different districts.
The goal is to create balanced, competitive and fair elective districts for 2014.
Opponents complain the procedure for selecting that commission would be complex and involve some members of the judiciary, potentially politicizing that branch of government. But the winnowing process is straightforward, and judges - not entirely apolitical now - already are involved in selecting members of other boards.
We believe Issue 2 would create an approach to redistricting that would be an improvement over the system now in place, and result in legislative districts that are fairer and more compact. We urge voters to approve the constitutional amendment.