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Cera chosen to look into congressional redistricting issue in Ohio

WTOV

State Representative Jack Cera is announcing his appointment to a select bipartisan panel of state legislators for an issue that affects voters.

Cera says he's honored to be one of four members of the general assembly chosen to look into the congressional redistricting issue in Ohio.

"People only need to look at Washington and see how messed up things are to understand why this is important," he said.

Cera says in our current gerrymandering system, the power is in the hands of elected officials.

"Right now we have a system where elected officials pick their voters, as opposed to the voters being in districts that make sense and that keep communities whole and that keep counties whole," Cera said.

The issue came to light in 2014, when all incumbents were aided by the 2012 redistricting and won easily.

Congressman Bill Johnson's race was the tightest, and he carried 60 percent of the vote.

All other winning candidates received at least 63 percent of the vote.

The winner in 9 of the 16 races had at least two thirds of the head-to-head vote.

In 2015, voters approved a ballot initiative to reform redistricting for statehouse districts, and the new panel, comprised of two republicans and two democrats, will review and suggest reforms to the way Ohio draws districts for U.S. Congressional seats.

"So many of our congressional races, and even in our legislative races, it's just a matter of if you win the primary you're in, and that's a problem, I think,” Cera said. “And it's a problem that causes both parties to go the extreme as opposed to being more in the middle where most Ohioans are."

The redistricting panel is expected to begin meeting this month.

Any action state lawmakers take would need approval from the voters, and a proposal could be placed on the statewide ballot as early as next year, with redistricting changes not implemented until 2021.

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