Two very different approaches

 

November 30, 2023



To The Eagle:

The Chair of Washington State’s nonpartisan redistricting commission has stated our new district maps “were created in a bipartisan process with unprecedented public input.”

The results have been “the doubling of minority-majority districts, greater consolidation of cities, counties and communities of interest, a more equitable Latino legislative district in Central Washington, and full consideration of the eight Tribes with which the commission consulted”.

This state’s Democrat legislature guarantees the value of every ballot in our electoral franchise.

Voters in many other states, particularly those dominated by Republican legislatures, are less fortunate. Ohio is notably the most brazenly illegally gerrymandered state in the U.S.

Its unconstitutionally gerrymandered Republican legislature ignored their constituents, courts and constitution to institute draconian anti-abortion legislation, as well as one of the most restrictive voter laws in the nation, allegedly to “preserve voting integrity,” despite a vanishingly rare 0.0005% incident rate of ‘possible voter fraud’ in their 2020 election.

That voter restriction law requires photo ID’s, passports, or driver’s licenses to vote. It limits entire counties to one ballot drop box each. The law also mandates citizenship status on ID’s and notably excludes college and military veteran’s ID’s from the list one can use to vote, purposely complicating voting by mail for veterans overseas.

It’s a typically Republican authoritarian strategy. It’s a vicious cycle of devious gerrymandering to eliminate electoral equity and secure an unconstitutional electoral majority to retain power, and misuse that power to frustrate voters’ efforts at ending the GOP’s culture of political larceny.

Nevertheless, disgusted Ohio voters recently defeated Republican efforts to make citizen Initiatives almost impossible to pass, and then reverted to that process of direct democracy to bypass their corrupted legislature and amended Ohio’s constitution to include “women’s rights to make their own reproductive decisions”, ensuring the repeal of the despotic total abortion ban that forced a 10 year old rape victim to travel out of state for a compassionate abortion.

Their next proposed citizen’s initiative will establish constitutionally required nonpartisan redistricting, to be done by a citizen committee, excluding elected politicians from sitting on that commission. Ohioan’s are reclaiming their democracy.

JB Bouchard

Puget Island

 

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