Citizens Not Politicians Releases First Salvo of the Campaign: Online Video Highlights Efforts to End Gerrymandering in Ohio

First in Series of Videos Underscores Broad Based Support for New Constitutional Amendment

Just days after handing in more than 730,000 signatures and rallying hundreds of Republican, Democrat and Independent voters for a packed Statehouse demonstration, the Citizens Not Politicians coalition on Monday released its first salvo of the campaign for a constitutional amendment to end gerrymandering: A new video that highlights the damage gerrymandering has caused to the political process in Ohio.

The video is available here. The campaign said it is paying to place the video on multiple digital platforms to reach voters in every corner of Ohio.

“Feel like politicians are ignoring you? It’s because they are,” the video declares as it introduces the unfair voting practices created by gerrymandering, practices that landed Ohio on a list of the country’s 10 most gerrymandered states.

The video goes on to explain how a broad coalition of Ohio Republicans, Independents, and Democrats, have come together to support a constitutional amendment to end partisan mapmaking.

“It’s time we put citizens, not career politicians, in charge. With the Citizens Not Politicians amendment we’ll restore politics to where it belongs: with Ohio citizens. Politicians can’t ignore that,” the video concludes.

The minute-long video is the first in a series of multimedia releases that will help inform Ohioans about the importance of the amendment, which will create a nonpartisan redistricting commission and ban politicians and lobbyists from participating, said retired Ohio Supreme Court Chief Justice Maureen O’Connor, a lifelong Republican who helped write the amendment.

“Every day, a growing number of Ohioans are coming out in favor of the Citizens Not Politicians Amendment and against the current system biased in favor of politicians,” said O’Connor, who was part of a bi-partisan majority that ruled seven times that politician-drawn maps were unconstitutional. “Videos like this will only increase the initiative’s already strong support,” said O’Connor.

In a powerful display of popular support, on July 1 the campaign delivered 731,306 signatures for the amendment from every county in Ohio to the Secretary of State’s Office. 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.

In June, the Citizens Not Politicians 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.
  • If approved, the new commission could draw maps that could be in place as early as the 2026 elections.

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