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Fair Districts Ohio Redistricting Contest Winner Advocates for Competitiveness and Voter Choice

 John Hagner's redistricted map
John Hagner, of Yellow Springs, created the winning redistricted map in the Fair Districts Ohio contest. Hagner says his map has districts that are less gerrymandered, which he says is important for voter choice in elections.

The advocacy group, Fair Districts Ohio, recently had a contest allowing anyone to take a crack at new congressional districts they thought were fair, kept communities together, and most of all were competitive.

John Hagner of Yellow Springs had his map chosen out of nearly 40 submissions. The map included several districts where either party would have a realistic chance of winning.

He says his map could serve as a viable alternative to any being considered by Ohio’s official mapmakers.

“We need to have districts that are more competitive because that's how voters' choices matter,” Hagner said.

He says voters have not been well-served over the past decade because of gerrymandering. During that time, Ohio has had 12 solidly Republican congressional districts and four that are heavily Democratic.

Ohio is losing one seat in the U.S. House as a result of last year’s census.

State lawmakers missed an end-of-September deadline to come up with a new map for the remaining 15 seats. The Ohio Redistricting Commission has until the end of October to come up with a new congressional map.

Rachel Gross is a senior journalism major in the Kent State School of Media and Journalism and will be graduating Fall 2021. She is the current general manager of the student-run TV station on Kent State’s campus, TV2, and has covered major political events for the station such as the Presidential Debate in Cleveland. With her minor being in political science, she hopes to work in the political news field after graduation.