Citizens Not Politicians Campaign Submits 731,306 Signatures to End Gerrymandering in Ohio

Hundreds Rally at Ohio Statehouse to Restore Power to Citizens

In a powerful display of popular support, the Citizens Not Politicians campaign today delivered 731,306 signatures from every county in Ohio to the Secretary of State’s Office for a constitutional amendment to end gerrymandering in Ohio.

Republican, Democrat, and Independent Ohio voters unloaded 810 boxes of petitions from four trucks and delivered them to the Ohio Secretary of State’s Office for verification. Hundreds of citizens from across Ohio celebrated the accomplishment in a rally at the Ohio Statehouse. 

The group was required to submit 413,487 valid signatures of registered voters by July 3, 2024, to qualify for the Nov. 5 Ohio General Election Ballot, representing 10% of the vote total in the most recent gubernatorial election. The campaign had to get valid signatures from at least 5% of the vote total in at least 44 counties, and achieved this result in a record 57 counties while collecting signatures from all 88 counties.

It was the third most signatures in the more than 110 years Ohio has had a citizen-initiated constitutional amendment process. It was the largest number of signatures for a constitutional amendment since more restrictive rules governing signature gatherers went into place in 2017. The total result makes the Citizens Not Politicians Amendment one of the most widely supported citizens-initiated constitutional amendments in Ohio history as measured by the performance at the signature-gathering phase of the campaign.  

Now, Ohio Secretary of State Frank LaRose is required to verify the signatures, which LaRose is expected to do in the coming weeks.

The delivery was followed by the rally in the Statehouse Atrium, where hundreds of volunteers from across Ohio gathered to celebrate the accomplishment and send a message to the gerrymandering Ohio politicians who work in the building.

“This is our house, the people’s house, and with today’s signature turn-in, we move one giant step closer to ensuring that the citizens decide who serves here, not the politicians who just scheme and rig the game to stay in power,” said retired Ohio Supreme Court Chief Justice Maureen O’Connor, a lifelong Republican who helped write the amendment. “This constitutional amendment will restore power to Ohio citizens and take it away from the self-serving politicians and their lobbyist friends and big-money donors.”

The event’s master of ceremonies was Ann Fisher, former WOSU talk show host and Columbus Dispatch columnist.

The Citizens Not Politicians Amendment will establish an independent redistricting commission, barring current or former politicians and lobbyists from manipulating district lines. The initiative will create a fair, transparent, and impartial redistricting process that reflects the true will of Ohio’s citizens.

Others at the rally spoke of a shared vision and a common purpose.  

“Where I come from, we believe in fairness and working together to do what’s right,” said Ted Linscott, a retired bricklayer and lifelong resident of Appalachian Ohio. “For too long, career politicians and their lobbyist friends have manipulated our districts to serve their interests. It’s time we put an end to this. We need a system that is open, transparent, and fair.”

Cleveland Republican Annette Tucker Sutherland said she signed on as one of the original petitioners for the amendment because she’s tired of the politicians not listening.

“In my work for voter access and education, I have seen first-hand how gerrymandering creates a legislature that us ineffective and unresponsive to the needs of Ohio voters,” Tucker Sutherland said. “They don’t have to care what we think because they draw themselves into cozy districts where they often don’t even face opposition for re-election.”

Ending gerrymandering is a moral imperative, said Rev. Michael Harrison, Union Baptist Church. “Our faith calls us to stand up for justice and equality. Gerrymandering is a moral failing that must be corrected,” Harrison said. “This is about ensuring every voice is heard and every vote counts. We are united in this fight to take back our democracy.”

A single mom and business owner from Cincinnati, Desirae Futel, spoke from the perspective of an African American who has worked on nonpartisan voter education efforts for more than a decade.

“Opponents of this amendment will say anything to keep our current broken system that lets them manipulate voting districts to discriminate against Black voters,” Futel aid. “This amendment is supported by civil rights leaders like the NAACP, Ohio Unity Coalition, and Ohio Organizing Collaborative.”

O’Connor emphasized the nonpartisan nature of this movement: “This is not about party lines; it’s about fairness and integrity. Ohioans from all walks of life have come together to demand an end to gerrymandering and ensure that our voting districts are drawn by citizens, not politicians. This is a critical step in taking back the people’s house from those who have betrayed our trust.”

Earlier this month, the group announced the support of nearly 100 organizations, businesses, and thought leaders across Ohio for a constitutional amendment. The diverse coalition supporting the historic initiative includes Republicans, Independents and Democrats and is made up of business groups, nonpartisan policy groups, labor unions, civil rights organizations, and faith-based organizations representing hundreds of thousands of Ohioans across the political spectrum.

In January, a nonpartisan group of 80 business leaders called Leadership Now released an open letter endorsing the amendment.    

The movement is expected to continue to grow in the coming months leading up to the Nov. 5 election. There is no announced organized group opposing the measure.

Gerrymandering is the practice by which politicians draw political boundaries to give themselves an unfair advantage, undermining fair representation and leading to political stagnation and ineffective policy.

Nationally, Ohio is recognized as one of the worst states for gerrymandering, undermining proportional representation and leading to political stagnation and ineffective policy.

More than 9 million Ohioans, or 77% of the state population, live in districts where one party has a severe advantage in the 2024 Ohio House of Representatives elections, according to an analysis by the Brennan Center for Justice at the NYU School of Law.

In addition, Ohio’s partisan map-drawing process meant that nearly half of the 99-member Ohio House lacked a competitive primary contest to nominate the likely winners for the upcoming general election, the Brennan analysis found.

The Citizens Not Politicians Amendment 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.

Seven other states have similar independent citizen redistricting commissions: Arizona, California, Colorado, Idaho, Michigan, Montana, and Washington. 

If approved, the new commission could draw maps that could be in place as early as the 2026 elections. For more information visit

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About Citizens Not Politicians
Citizens Not Politicians is a grassroots, nonpartisan coalition of Republican, Democrat and Independent Ohio voters and includes nearly 100 organizations, businesses, and thought leaders across Ohio supporting a constitutional amendment that will end gerrymandering in the state.