The Impact of Gerrymandering on Stark County


One of the results of the gerrymandered maps that the Republicans drew is that most of the state’s northern urban counties were shredded to pieces, destroying their coherence and unity. Don’t think this negative result for communities wasn’t deliberate. It was.

A piece in the Canton Repository, called “A County Divided Leaves Residents Confused,” describes the impact of this crazy-quilt map drawing on one of northeast Ohio’s urban counties, spotlighting while we need to continue the fight for redistricting reform NOW and not wait for a decade, as Republicans have suggested, so that they can enjoy their unfair advantage for that time. What was done to the Canton area was also done to Akron, Cleveland, and Toledo. It’s an insult to democracy.…

Incumbents may have won every state representative and congressional contest in the county in November. But the majority of people here are experiencing a change in who represents them in the Ohio General Assembly or Congress because of a process that occurs once every 10 years.

It should be a requirement that as few voters as possible should be moved into new districts, given the necessity of moving some to account for population shifts. But of course leaving residents confused was very likely one of the desired results of new district lines. A confused voter is one who frequently makes uninformed choices — or fails to vote in a race at all.

This is shameful:

In Stark County, Democratic congressional candidates got 51 percent of the vote, but two of the county’s three congressmen ended up being Republicans. Republican state representative candidates got 50.9 percent of the county vote, and yet three of the county’s four representatives are Republicans.

That essentially mutes the county’s voice in state politics, draining its influence.

And kudos to the Repository for this:

Working in a secretly booked hotel suite in Columbus, Republican state legislative staffers and a top aide to U.S. House Speaker John Boehner, R-West Chester, used sophisticated mapping software to take advantage of the fact it doesn’t matter whether their candidates win by 51 percent or 80 percent.

Truth. A rare commodity in today’s mainstream media.