Consternation inside the Ohio Democratic Party over whether to endorse a November ballot issue on legislative redistricting should be nearing a conclusion. The legislature passed Issue 1 in December, and there was only one Democratic “no” vote. The proposal has been endorsed by the Ohio Republican Party, the League of Women Voters and a variety of groups that generally align with Democrats, including ProgressOhio, Common Cause Ohio and the Coalition of Democratic & Progressive Organizations of Central Ohio.
“If you can go from the Republican Party and the Chamber of Commerce clear over to NARAL (Pro-Choice Ohio), and they can all see this, it is bipartisan and is good for our state,” said Carolyn Casper, chairwoman of the coalition.
But the Democratic Party has been slow to come around on Issue 1, even though no one should want the current redistricting system scrapped more than Ohio Democrats. Republican-drawn legislative districts have helped keep the Senate in GOP hands since 1985 and a Republican House for all but two years since 1995. Republicans hold record majorities in both chambers.