In school, students learn about the United States being a democracy. They learn that one of the most important privileges of democracy in the United States of America is the right to participate in choosing elected officials through voting in elections. In a democracy, every person's vote is supposed to count. However, in Ohio, the politicians currently draw the congressional boundaries every ten years. Unfortunately this leads to something called gerrymandering. Gerrymandering is the dividing of a state, county, etc., into election districts so as to give one political party a majority in many districts while concentrating the voting strength of the other party into as few districts as possible. This means that the politicians are choosing their voters, instead of the voters choosing who they want to represent them.
We now have a way to fix this problem of gerrymandering. Currently, there is a petition to let the voters decide if they think gerrymandering is fair, or if an Independent Citizens Commission should draw boundaries. We only have until July 4th to collect the 386,000 valid signatures that will put the proposal on the ballot. The Independent Citizens Commission takes the politicians, lobbyists and insiders completely out of the process and puts the power to draw legislative districts into the hands of the people.
I urge all Ohio voters to sign the Voters First petition and in November restore our voice by voting to take the power to draw our districts out of the hands of the politicians. For more information, visit www.votersfirstohio.org