GOP's tight grip

There has been much talk about Ohio trending Republican. In my opinion, Ohio is trending Republican much like East Berlin trended Communist in the 1960s. It is a captured state. Let’s look at the facts.

Ohio has 16 U.S. House seats. Republicans took 12 (75 percent) with 52 percent of the vote. Ohio has 99 seats in the Ohio House. Republicans took 62 (63 percent) with just over 50 percent of the vote. Why? Shameless, partisan gerrymandering.

Gerrymandering is a result of statistical analysis of voters, using packing and cracking schemes to tilt the vote as politicians choose their voters. Summit County provides a classic look at cracking, with Democratic voters being divided into five Ohio House districts to help Republicans win. Packing puts voters of one party disproportionately into districts.

Gerrymandering is just one piece of the overall Republican strategy of voter suppression. Removing voters from registration lists and creating onerous identification requirements complete the package. Gerrymandering has been so effective in Ohio that we haven’t seen much of the other. Just look at Georgia and North Dakota to see how those tactics work.

This broken system unconstitutionally discriminates on a partisan basis. Voters should pick politicians, not vice versa. Support the ACLU/League of Women Voters lawsuit, which should be expanded to include Ohio state districts, to end gerrymandering for the 2020 election. Barring that, keep a close eye on the new process for 2022, particularly the inclusion of Ken Blackwell, a voter suppression advocate, in Frank LaRose’s secretary of state administration.

Dick Bardoulas, Copley

 

Ohio women's rights

Now the Ohio House has passed a "heartbeat" anti-abortion law. Well, I guess the Ohio House really does want women to have no body choice, just keep them barefoot and pregnant.

I hope these new babies will be fed and well taken care of, and given a good education.

I just know people will pass all Children Services and school levies, fund all Head Start programs and become a foster parent and not complain about new taxes.

Best of all, now that you can tell women what to do with their bodies, I can tell you that you are too fat — lose weight. You must exercise, too.

This law will take away women’s rights, don’t you understand?

Carol Derry, Norton

 

Befuddled in the snow

On a recent morning I awoke to a fresh new snow. I left the house and traveled east on Tallmadge Avenue and the streets were covered with a blanket of white. I couldn’t see any of the painted lines or symbols and the bike lanes were nonexistent. What to do?

The snow melted in an hour or so, so travel resumed unscathed, no harm done.

I couldn’t help but wonder how the residents of Akron will be able to find their way when winter settles in and our two-lane roads become four lanes because of the salt and snow, but I have confidence in our city's paint engineers that I won’t get lost and I’ll find my way to any destination. It’s really a shame that a half inch of snow wipes out all that paint and work.

Les Johnson, Akron

 

Accept the migrants

I’m up in years; I know our population is aging at an alarming rate. We need the young families marching to our border. Many are educated people. Their families are intact.

Our policies for including them into our country could use some improvement.

To accept them is right. Doing what is right is America’s best policy.

Loma MacAfee, Akron