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Redistricting commission had better get to work

Remember Ohio’s redistricting commission — the one that seemed from the outset not to understand the sense of urgency in getting done the job with which they had been charged? Well, they blew their Sept. 1 deadline to redraw the Buckeye State’s political map. Though no one who observed the group’s first meeting, during which they knew perfectly well they were in a time crunch but they did, well, nothing — will be surprised to learn this bunch did not get the job done, the failure is still disturbing.

Now they have until Sept. 15 to present and pass a redistricting plan. Meanwhile, lawmakers of both parties have submitted their own redistricting suggestions. But by Wednesday, the seven-member Republican-led commission had yet to even publicly announce when (if?) it planned to introduce a legislative redistricting plan, hold three public hearings on it and get it passed in a week.

One gets some idea what might be holding up the works in reading a statement from state Sen. Vernon Sykes, D-Akron, one of two Democrats on the commission.

“We look forward to seeing the majority’s map and working with them to produce what the public has demanded of us – a bipartisan, 10-year map,” he said.

Genuine bipartisan agreement on what best serves the people of Ohio in terms of providing fair representation, without giving an advantage to one political party or another must be a nightmare for politicians who have gotten used to operating in an era of party over everything else. But they’re going to have to get over themselves — and remember for whom they work — to do the job Ohioans are counting on them to do properly and fairly.

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