Blogs > Northern Ohio Local Politics

Politics is big in these parts, and we’ve got it covered. John Arthur Hutchison and other staff writers will offer their inside information on the events, big news and little moments of the local political scene in Lake, Geauga and eastern Cuyahoga counties.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010


The buzzword before next week's election should be "redistricting," and an Associated Press article in Tuesday's News-Herald focuses on just that:
The GOP could capture new Senate or House majorities in a dozen to 18 states — along with critical new power to redraw district maps and influence elections for a decade to come. Three of the biggest prizes are New York, Ohio and Pennsylvania. All three states are expected to lose seats in Congress as a result of the 2010 census, and that's sure to ignite boundary fights. A party's congressman on the wrong end of redistricting can find the district he's represented for years no longer exists.

That's right: Ohio likely will lose at least one of its 18 Congressional districts, which means someone is losing his or her job. Ohio's population loss since the 2000 Census is putting us in position to lose representation in Washington, and the party that is elected into power next week will determine how the next Congressional districts are drawn.

Wondering how that works? The ReDistricting Game (at can explain that better than I.

Created by the USC Game Innovation Lab and developed for the USC Annenberg Center for Communications, The ReDistricting Game lets users redraw Congressional districts while keeping the current representatives happy. Once you have the correct number of residents in each district, you get feedback to make sure you have done what the party leaders want you to do. That could include drawing districts your party will win, or drawing districts that will keep all the constituents in office, regardless of party. Once you submit your plan for approval, the State Legislature must vote in favor of your plan. Then the governor has to sign it. Then it has to successfully make it through challenges in court to be accepted.

The game can get pretty difficult as your progress through levels, but it is a pretty fun way to learn about a topic that only makes it into the news every 10 years. If you're a political person who likes puzzles, you'll probably enjoy figuring out how to get this one to work. (And the game has some subtle wit, like with the characters Libby Rahl and Connor Servative.)

After playing the game, check out a current map of the Congressional districts in Ohio here. This is the last election for which these 18 districts will exist. Which districts are going away? How will the new ones be drawn? It depends a lot on who is voted into office next week.

-- Cheryl Sadler

Labels: ,


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home