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WYSO's coverage of the 2011 Election

Supporters and Opponents of Issue 2 Square Off in Debate in Columbus

With all the ads, calls and fliers for the Presidential and US Senate races in Ohio, there’s little room for the two statewide issues that are also before voters. And Issue 2 has strong coalitions of supporters and opponents working for and against it. Ohio Public Radio's Karen Kasler moderated a debate over Issue 2 before the Columbus Metropolitan Club.

Issue 2 takes the authority to draw maps for Congressional and Statehouse districts out of the hands of lawmakers and gives it to a 12 member commission of citizens who aren’t politicians or lobbyists. Issue 2 backer Catherine Turcer said Republican former state Senator Jeff Jacobson knows the problem with redistricting inside and out. She quoted from his farewell speech when he left the Senate in 2008.

“And this is what he said: ‘Redistricting is the most fun anyone could ever have in politics without going to prison," says Turcer.

But Jacobson said the problems in the current system aren’t a reason to change to a complicated, untested and potentially unconstitutional process.

“Just because we have a map that some people believe need to be fixed and we agree there are issues that need to be improved doesn’t mean that this is the way to do it,” says Jacobson.

Jacobson urges voters to wait for state lawmakers to put forward a new plan. But Issue 2 supporters said they’ve waited for decades for that to happen.