Issue 2 is a statewide initiative to take power away from politicians and make the election process fair again. It deserves a resounding yes from all Ohioans.
Issue 2 amends the Ohio Constitution, changing how district representation maps are drawn every 10 years. This would affect the state's U.S. House delegation and Ohio's General Assembly. Specifically, district maps would be drawn by independent Ohio citizens.
Unfortunately, the current process gives politicians in Columbus the job to draw up district maps. As many of you can imagine, special interests and the greed for political power take over. The result is decades of district map abominations. The map for this coming election is a prime example. For the U.S. Congressional map, Seneca County's district stretches all the way to the western border of the state.
Apparently, we are better served lumped together with western border Williams County than we would be with neighboring Hancock County. The Ohio house and senate districts are no better. Seneca County is split in half, with the eastern and western sides in two different districts. Our voice as a county is divided when heard in Columbus.
This isn't a partisan issue, as Democrats and Republicans engage in this redistricting process to suit their own needs. If the politicians in Columbus were serious about creating a fair map, they would work together through compromise. Unfortunately, that does not happen and a joint, fair map has not occurred in 40 years.
Issue 2 takes this power away from politicians and places it in the hands of an independent, citizens' commission. It would be composed of an equal number of Republicans, Democrats and independents. They would then be charged with the task of creating a map that is fair, regardless of which political party is in power. Gone would be lobbyists and special-interest money.
I constantly hear complaints about politicians and how power corrupts them. Issue 2 gives us a chance take some of that power back and place it the hands of Ohio citizens. On Election Day, vote "yes" on Issue 2 and make Ohio representation fair again.
Editor's note: The legislative maps for terms beginning next year have Seneca County in one senate district and all but two townships in the same house district.