Statewide Nonpartisan Coalition to Soon Begin Collecting Signatures to Place Amendment on November 2024 Ballot to End Gerrymandering in Ohio
Today’s decision by the Ohio Ballot Board that the nonpartisan Citizens Not Politicians Amendment is a single subject that can be circulated for voters as one constitutional amendment means supporters will soon be able to begin collecting signatures to place the amendment on the ballot in the November 2024 election.
“For Ohioans of all political persuasions, this is a big day because the citizens are one step closer to taking the driver’s wheel and putting the politicians in the back seat,” said former Ohio Supreme Court Chief Justice Maureen O’Connor, who is one of the leaders of the statewide nonpartisan coalition backing the measure. “This amendment will end gerrymandering in Ohio by putting citizens – not politicians – in charge of drawing legislative districts.”
Now that the Ballot Board has certified the amendment, the Attorney General must file a verified copy of the proposed constitutional amendment and summary, along with the Attorney General’s certification (which already occurred on Oct. 2), with the Ohio Secretary of State. At that point, the petitioners may begin to collect the required 413,487 valid signatures of registered voters by July 3, 2024, to qualify for the 2024 Ohio General Election Ballot.
“We expect the Attorney General to quickly perform his duty, so we can begin collecting signatures in every corner of Ohio,” O’Connor said. The coalition’s partners expect to begin collecting signatures soon.
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.
The amendment and summary can be found at www.citizensnotpoliticians.org/petition.
Currently, the process of redistricting is controlled by politicians who are able to draw districts that all but ensure their own re-election. This amendment puts an end to that by banning current and recent political officeholders, those with strong political party or campaign ties, and lobbyists from participating in the process, and instead empowers Ohio citizens by creating the OCRC and requiring the Commission to draw fair maps through an open and independent process.
“The current system is deeply flawed because politicians – Democrats and Republicans – draw biased, often ridiculously-shaped districts to favor their own political interests,” O’Connor said. “Ohio is one of the country’s most gerrymandered states, and this proposal would end that by empowering citizens, not politicians, to draw fair districts using an open and independent process.”
About Citizens Not Politicians
Citizens Not Politicians is a coalition of people and organizations seeking to end gerrymandering in Ohio by removing politicians from the redistricting process and instead empowering Ohio citizens to draw fair and impartial legislative and congressional districts through an open and independent process.