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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.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Redistricting Ohio

If you think you would have a knack for creating congressional districts, here's your opportunity to do it.

Plain Dealer guest columnist (and manager of the Ohio Campaign for Accountable Redistricting) Jim Slagle wrote this weekend about Draw the Line Ohio, which lets voters create their own maps - and have a chance at winning some money.

You can draw state legislative and congressional districts for Ohio – using the same population and election data used by public officials.
Plans will be scored by objective criteria: preserving county boundaries; compactness; competitiveness; and representational fairness.
Winning plans will be eligible for $5000 in cash prizes and will be submitted to the Legislature and Apportionment Board for their consideration.

Sounds easy enough, right?

If you want in, visit and click on "Join the Contest to Draw a Better Map". Sign up for an account to draw a map, or enter the site as a guest to see what other Ohioans have come up with.

I've blogged before about redistricting, and I can't stress enough how important this topic is going to be in the next year. Ohio currently has 18 congressional districts (click here for the map), and two of those are disappearing for the 2012 election because of the state's population loss.

If you're not sure what goes in to redistricting, check out The ReDistricting Game for a fun explanation of the process. (If you like puzzles, you'll seriously enjoy this.) For a more thorough explanation of the process, see Draw the Line Midwest's Redistricting 101 page.

-- Cheryl Sadler | | @nhcheryl



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