LEARN

What is Gerrymandering?

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What is the problem with the way we draw congressional districts now?

Gerrymandering is the manipulation of political districts to rig the outcome of elections to favor one political party over another.

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Both Democrats and Republicans have engaged in gerrymandering but this type of map-making reduces voter choices and leads to fewer competitive elections and elected officials who are less accountable to their constituents.

How do map-makers create unfair districts? The party that has the majority can pack voters of the minority party into one district so that they reduce the number of minority districts. The majority party can also crack voters of the minority into a number of districts diluting their voting power.

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Credit: Stephan Nass

Are Ohio’s districts really that much worse than the rest of the country?

Yes, Ohio has some of the worst gerrymandered districts in the country. Read more about Ohio’s gerrymandering problem here.

I’m not a Democrat or Republican.  Why should I care?

Gerrymandering gives all voters fewer choices.  Districts that lean heavily in one direction or the other mean that the real competition happens in the primary and elected officials are more tied to their political parties than their voters. 

Didn’t voters already pass redistricting reform?

In November 2015, Ohio voters overwhelmingly passed Issue 1, which reformed redistricting for state legislative districts. Voters changed the way state legislative maps are drawn by imposing strict rules for keeps communities together, prohibiting hyper-partisan gerrymandering and creating more transparency. It’s time to create similar rules for the way that we draw Congressional districts.  All of Ohio deserves fair districts and fair elections.