Analysis by Nonpartisan Brennan Center for Justice: Nearly 8 in 10 Ohioans Live in Uncompetitive Legislative Districts

National law and policy institute endorses anti-gerrymandering amendment

COLUMBUS, OH — More than 9 million Ohioans (77% of the population) live in districts where one party is given a severe advantage in the 2024 state representative elections, according to an analysis released today by the Brennan Center for Justice atNYU Law. Last week, the national nonpartisan law and policy institute announced its endorsement of the Citizens Not Politicians Amendment to end gerrymandering in Ohio.

The analysis, titled “Ohio’s Gerrymandered Ohio HouseDistricts Lack Electoral Competition,” was researched and written byBrennan Center experts Gina Feliz and Yurij Rudensky. It reveals one of the tangible ways Ohio’s gerrymandered maps undermine electoral competition, and how the districts leave millions of Ohio voters without a significant voice in the Ohio House elections slated for this November.

Gerrymandering is the practice in which politicians draw political boundaries to give themselves unfair advantage, undermining fair representation and leading to political stagnation and ineffective policy. Ohio is recognized as one of the most gerrymandered states in the nation.

“When map drawers gerrymander district boundaries, their goal is to lock in their desired election outcomes and leave voters without a meaningful choice” the analysis states.

With an alarming number of uncontested races and others giving an unfair advantage to candidates of one party, the study highlights the grim reality for voters in Ohio: a lack of meaningful choice.

Furthermore, the report points out that nearly half of the 99-member Ohio House didn’t even have a competitive primary contest to nominate the likely winners for the upcoming general election.

The study draws attention to the 15 uncontested districts that offer no choice between Democratic and Republican candidates and notes an additional 62 districts that are safe seats and not in serious dispute.The districts deprive most Ohio voters of meaningful choice.

“These are, of course, the predictable consequence of living in a gerrymandered state. But it may be the last such election cycle in the state” Feliz and Rudensky wrote. “If the Citizens Not Politicians campaign to reform Ohio’s redistricting process succeeds this November, a new citizen-led redistricting process will draw new district maps centering community needs and voter preferences rather than the interests of incumbents.”

The nonpartisan group Citizens Not Politicians has volunteers across Ohio collecting signatures. They must collect over 413,000valid signatures by July 3 to qualify for the November ballot.

The Citizens Not PoliticiansAmendment will:

  • Create the 15-member Ohio Citizens Redistricting Commission made up of Republican, Democratic and independent citizens who broadly represent the different geographic areas and demographics of the state.
  • Ban current or former politicians, political party officials, and lobbyists from sitting on the commission.
  • Require fair and impartial districts by making it unconstitutional to draw voting districts that discriminate against or favor any political party or individual politician.
  • Require the commission to operate under an open and independent process.

For further details on the Citizens Not PoliticiansAmendment and how to support the initiative, visit