Thursday, August 17, 2017


The Stark County Political Report has published a number of blogs over its existence (nearly 10 years now) on the unfairness of Ohio's elections on account of "organized" Republicans and Democrats going back well over 100 years of contorting state legislative and congressional election districts to ensure in varying degrees that incumbents of whichever of either party get re-elected.

Recently, the blogs include:
One of the more interesting and disturbing factors that came to light in the development of this series was Stark Countian (a former vice president of the Stark County GOP) and now Ohio Republican chair Jane Timken's assertion that she does not see redistricting as something she can support, to wit:  (from a Cleveland City Club appearance on July 7, 2017)


"Do you and the Republican Party favor setting up a commission to redraw [congressional] district to provide more equitable division between parties in congressional districts?


"I tend to think elections have consequence and we have a history of being able to draw congressional districts based on our [Ohio's] apportionment board.  I tend to want to keep that system unapologetically.

Catherine Turcer of  Common Cause Ohio (Fair Districts = Fair Elections) which is behind a petition drive effort to make congressional districts fairer had this reaction to the Timken statement:
Catherine Turcer <>  Today at 9:37 AM
To:  Martin Olson 
Mr. Olson, 
Good morning!  I am surprised by Jane Timken's statement.  The state legislature is responsible for drawing the congressional districts, rather than the Apportionment Board.  In 2015, more than 71% of voters supported creating the bipartisan Ohio Redistricting Commission to draw state legislative district lines.  Issue 1 of 2015 was supported by both the Ohio Republican Party and the Ohio Democratic Party.   
I do agree that elections have consequences but I also believe that districts should not be artificially manipulated to favor one political party over the other.   Fair elections are the cornerstone of a robust democracy.  Computers have made gerrymandering or mapmaking for partisan advantage much easier and have created truly uncompetitive elections. 
We deserve more compact districts that keep communities together and more robust elections. Because -- as Ms. Timken's said-- elections have consequences.  These consequences should not be determined by mapmakers but by the voters. 
It appears that Timken is out there somewhere all on her lonesome.

Witness, the outcomes of an election held in 2015 in which Ohio/Stark Countians voted overwhelmingly to require redistricting on a fairer basis than is currently in place.

Most encouraging that a congressional district version of the 2015 passed state legislative districts mandate for fairer districts is the work that the Cleveland Plain Dealer and (a work of Advance Ohio) through numbers analyst/reporter Rich Exner is doing so that Ohio can get a very clear picture of the monstrously unfair congressional districts Ohio currently has.

Readers who care about fairness in our elections should follow Exner's effort very closely.  Here are two links to recent (August 16th and August 17th) article published on

Exner's work is outstanding and the SCPR urges readers to keep in touch with the continuing coverage of the need for fairer redistricting in Ohio.

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