Citizens of Ohio serve notice to Redistricting Commission

Members of Ohio’s Redistricting Commission were served notice earlier Monday that ordinary Ohioans have had enough of the mess the commission purposefully made of our voting districts. According to the Ohio Secretary of State’s office, the group Citizens Not Politicians managed to collect more than 731,000 signatures to prove the point.

The effort was aimed at getting an amendment to the Ohio Constitution placed on the Nov. 5 general election ballot, which would replace the commission with one made up of citizens rather than politicians.

According to a report by the Ohio Capital Journal, retired Republican Ohio Supreme Court Chief Justice Maureen O’Connor called the effort “one of the most widely supported citizen-initiated constitutional amendments in Ohio’s history.”

Only 413,487 signatures were required by July 3, with 5% of the vote in at least 44 counties necessary. According to Citizens Not Politicians, they not only blew past the total figure by more than 317,000 signatures, they also received signatures matching at least 5% of the vote in 57 counties; and collected some signatures in all 88 counties.

Assuming those signatures and percentages will be verified by the Secretary of State’s Office, that means Ohioans are headed for a vote on one option for changing the horrifically broken system now in place for redrawing our political districts.

“Gerrymandering has long silenced communities like mine, but today, we stand to change that,” Desirae Futel, of Cincinnati, told a crowd gathered to celebrate the petition’s delivery, according to the Capital Journal.

Even Gov. Mike DeWine has gone on record as saying he does not believe redrawing should be carried out by politicians — and he was a member of the commission.

Of course, voters will have to carefully read the ballot language of the Citizens Not Politicians proposal to determine whether they believe this is the right solution to the problem. But there is no doubt now Ohioans agree it is a problem; and have decided change is coming.

Read more here.