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Ohio Sect. of State Husted says lawmakers must change political map-making process
Husted says he may lead a voter push for redistricting reform if lawmakers won't change it
by WKSU's M.L. SCHULTZE


Web Editor
M.L. Schultze
 
Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted is challenging his fellow Republicans on redistricting and on-line voter registration.
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Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted says voters are growing increasingly frustrated with the state’s congressional and legislative maps. And Husted says they – and he – may try to force a change if state lawmakers won’t act. 

Right now, the political boundaries are drawn every 10 years by the political party that dominates state offices. This decade, it’s the Republicans.

Husted is a Republican. But he’s also backing a plan for a seven-member bipartisan commission to draw the maps – with requirements for supermajority votes and attempts to keep most counties in one political piece. The Ohio Senate has passed a resolution backing such a commission, and a little known group called the Constitutional Modernization Commission is considering it. 

But Husted says intention is not enough.

LISTEN: Redistricting inaction

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Windows Media / MP3 Download (0:16)


“Action is necessary for people to take you seriously. And if they don’t get something done soon, I foresee down the road a ballot initiative taking it out of the hands of the General Assembly. And I’m willing to be part of that if the General Assembly fails to act.” 

In his speech to the Akron Press Club, Husted said on-line voting in Ohio won’t happen anytime soon, in part because older voters don’t trust it. 

But he says on-line registration could be done tomorrow, and, again, challenged Ohio lawmakers for inaction.

LISTEN: On-line registration
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Windows Media / MP3 Download
(0:19)

“We could switch on that the minute it becomes law, but the General Assembly hasn’t acted. It would save money, it would make voting more secure and more convenient. And there’s no reason that the General Assembly should continue to work on things people don’t want them to work on and leave things languishing that people do want them to work on.” 

Here's the speech by Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted to the Akron Press Club:

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MP3 Download
(28:20)

Here's the Q&A by Husted following the speech:
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(21:04)


 
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