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Did you know that Summit County is divided into four separate congressional districts? Not one of those elected officials actually live in Summit County? That happened when our congressional districts were redrawn after the census in 2010. It`s called gerrymandering, a process by which our political districts are drawn to favor one political party or candidate over the other. It`s the cause of much of the hyper-partisan politics we are now witnessing. On May 8 voters can fix the gerrymandering problem in Ohio by voting YES ON ISSUE 1.

The language for Issue 1 was the result of negotiation and compromise and included leading members of the Fair Districts coalition. Last summer the Fair Districts/Fair Elections coalition began an Initiative to put a measure on the ballot in November to change how our congressional districts our drawn. As momentum gathered and over 220,000 signatures collected, our state legislature decided to put a Referendum on the ballot this May. If approved by voters, congressional districts will be drawn with input from both major political parties with guidelines that will eliminate the worst excesses of gerrymandering. The process will be a transparent one allowing for input from citizens in how our district lines are drawn.

Placing Issue 1 on the ballot was strongly approved by Democrats and Republicans and is actively supported by Senator Vernon Sykes (D) and Senator Frank LaRose (R).

A YES vote on ISSUE 1 is a vote for fair elections, moderation in politics and better representation. It deserves your vote.

Barbara Kaplan