Grand Marshals selected for West Union Fourth of July Parade Adams County, Maysville Vet team up to save injured dog Michael S Knauff Victor P Price Success builds from the bottom up Finalists named for 2017 Fair Queen Contest William Glenn DeWine, Reader Call For Tips in Rhoden Murder Investigation MHS principal to take superintendent post Peebles Skate Park now a reality 2017-18 Fur and Feather Ambassadors named Caley Grooms is Cattlemen’s Beef Ambassador Dr. Mueller leaving Health Department’s free clinic Hourglass Quilt Barn returning to Adams County Lung, Thornburg are First Team All-District selections North Adams hosts annual Boys Basketball Camps Walk-off winner Wanda Hill George D Johnson Life can be a juggling act My favorite thing to do on the farm Wolves in Adams County! Ronald L Wedmore Three lessons from Dad Donald D Morgan Wenstrup uninjured in Virginia shooting Portman staff to hold grant funding workshop Raymond E Applegate Keeping the Peebles tradition alive Back on the hardwood, local hoops squads compete in Monday Night League Seven county athletes recognized as All-SHAC Baseball honorees Stepping to the podium Lady Hounds host Youth Volleyball Camp Senior Profile: Bryan Young Junior Deputy Boot Camps kick off in Manchester Hayes pleads “not guilty” to 109 counts Six-year-old girl finds long-lost class ring Jefferson Alumni awards annual scholarships Paul Tate Jr Marcus I Cox Jewell Gill James M Hill Jr Jeffrey S Jones Samuel A Disher Jack Sterling BREAKING NEWS: Parents face charges after son overdoses on opiate License Hikes and Tall Turkey Tales Danger under every rock Reigning Miss Ohio USA will judge 2017 Adams County Fair Queen Pageant Gordley’s hoops career will continue at Mount St. Joseph Russell C Newman Kenneth C Thurman George Uebel Summer Reading Program underway Honor Flight carries local veteran to DC When rescuers become victims Passing the torch, West Union hosts week-long basketball camp for future Dragons SENIOR PROFILE: Sara Knechtly Terry L Powell Willie Shreffler James C Fitzpatrick Senior Profile: Austin Parks Six countians named to All-SHAC Softball squad Lady Indians get summer camp season underway Memorial Day services pay tribute to local veterans WUHS Steel Band will perform at Bogart’s SSCC announces Honors Lists for spring semester Peebles Elementary releases Honor Roll for final nine weeks West Union Elementary announces Honor Roll for fourth nine weeks Back to State! Mom calls daughter “living proof” seat belts save lives Rent-2-Own donation means new soccer scoreboard at WUHS NAHS student selected for Engineering Summer Camp Southern Hills Athletic Conferences honors Spring Sports athletes Senior Profile: Kailyn Boyd Madison Welch receives Riffle Scholarship Junior Achievement Volunteers visit county’s seventh graders Marcella J Abbott James Ratliff Gladys Davitz Harry G Shupert Memories on Memorial Day A soldier’s story, a family’s grief Thank You for your sacrifice Seaman community honors local veterans with special tribute Former PES teacher dies in tragic accident All County Senior Citizens Day celebrated Parks signs with SSCC Soccer Senior Profile: Lexie Bunn Jessie Rodgers Memorial Day services set for county Truly our greatest generation Bertha Lashley Maia Swartz Jessie Rodgers Errors spell the end of Devils’ baseball season Senior Profile: Carry Hayslip Lady Hounds’ season ends with tourney loss to Paint Valley North Adams hosts Youth Volleyball Camp Time to get “Stroke Savvy”

Issue 1 approved by Ohio voters

Voters in Tuesday’s election were nearly unanimous in their support of Issue 1, the constitutional amendment intended to end the partisan gerrymandering in Ohio’s Statehouse. For the most part Ohio is considered a purple state with the number of Republicans and Democrats being more or less equal. However, two-thirds of the Ohio Statehouse seats and three-fourths of Ohio’s congressional seats are held by members of one party. The passage of issue one levels the playing field by making the process of dividing the state into legislative districts more balanced. The majority can no longer create districts that favor their party by packing minority party voters together. The issue’s passage is expected to profoundly effect how the state is governed in the future

The amendment creates a new, bipartisan commission to draw legislative districts that are compact and do not favor one political party over another. The amendment takes effect in 2021 when the next redistricting is scheduled to occur. Issue 1 was the fourth citizen initiative attempting to change the redistricting system that has allowed a single political party to maintain control over the statehouse for the past two decades. In 1981 an initiative that would have given redistricting authority to a state commission was defeated with 58 percent of voters against it. A 2005 measure was also defeated with 69 percent voting against it. In 2012 a measure proposing a 12 person citizen commission redraw the maps was defeated by 68 percent of the voters.

The new amendment will ensure the minority party has a voice in the political process and that districts will be more competitive and representative. Both the Ohio Republican and Democratic parties support the plan, as do business groups, unions, religious leaders and a variety of organizations that promote voting access.

The ultimate goal is a more effective and responsive state government.

Formerly, the system allowed a partisan 5-member board that included the governor, state auditor, secretary of state and two members selected by the legislative leaders of the two major parties to draw legislative districts.

The amendment establishes a bipartisan Ohio Redistricting Commission, composed of 7 members including the Governor, the Auditor of State, the Secretary of State, and a bipartisan majority of 4 members. A 10 year redistricting plan now requires agreement between the major political parties. If the commission fails to pass a bipartisan plan, then a simple majority of four members are required to pass a plan that will last four years. The amendment forbids district plans from favoring either political party, thereby ending the partisan drawing of Ohio House and Senate districts, and replacing it with a bipartisan process that creates district boundaries that are more compact and politically competitive.

The amendment also ensures a transparency by requiring public meetings, public displays of maps, and a public letter explaining any plan the Commission adopts by a simple majority vote.

Critics of the amendment argue that it only addresses half the problem because it does not change how districts are drawn for the U.S. House of Representatives. They argue that former Speaker of the House, John Boehner-R pressured lawmakers to forgo including congressional redistricting. Commenting on reform efforts, Boehner said, “I frankly don’t think it needs to be fixed,” adding, “for 40 years the Democrat Party had the pencil in their hands, and for the last 20 years we’ve had the pencil. When you’ve got the pencil in your hand, you’re going to use it to the best of your advantage.”

Richard Gunther, a political science professor at Ohio State University who is involved in redistricting reform, said, “The actual argument I heard when I was engaged in negotiations was there was a tremendous amount of pressure from John Boehner not to go into this. Boehner is perfectly happy with the existing process, and he should be because it is outrageously disproportionate.”

Technological advances in mapping software and voter data have expedited precision drawing of district lines. In the past the majority party attempted to draw winnable districts that were unaffected by populist ideology and legal challenges. Elections in these districts rarely reflected the will of the electorate.

The majority party can solidify its power by crafting a number of districts that, on paper, give it 5-to-10 point advantages, while giving the minority party fewer seats but with huge advantages of 20 points or more.

In the 2012 elections, for example, Ohio House Democrats got 56,000 more total votes than Republicans, but the GOP won 60 of 99 seats.

“That’s preposterous,” said Gunther, “Somehow, you pull a rabbit out of the hat, and the loser becomes the winner.

The campaign that supported the amendment was led by Fair Districts for Ohio and the measure was sponsored by Rep. Matt Huffman-R with Rep. Vernon Sykes-D.

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Voters Reject Political Monopoly

By Patricia Beech

pbeech@civitasmedia.com

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