‘End gerrymandering:’ Petition submitted to end political redistricting in Ohio

(The Center Square) – A constitutional amendment to prevent political redistricting is likely to appear on the Ohio ballot in November.

The Citizens Not Politicians campaign delivered 731,306 signatures collected from all 88 Ohio counties to the Secretary of State Frank LaRose’s office for a constitutional amendment to establish an independent redistricting commission.

The initiative has broad bipartisan backing. Supporters say the amendment, which bars current or former politicians and lobbyists from district map decision-making, will prevent the political manipulation of district lines and ensure a transparent, impartial redistricting process.

Ohio House Minority Leader Allison Russo, D-Upper Arlington, applauded the organization’s efforts.

“This is an extraordinary step in returning power to the people and putting citizens in charge of the redistricting process in Ohio,” Russo said. “With fair districts, we can fund our schools properly, create good paying jobs, and stop pushing through divisive legislation that does nothing to help Ohio’s hardworking families get ahead.”

The Citizens Not Politicians amendment

Retired Republican Ohio Supreme Court Chief Justice Maureen O’Connor, who helped write the amendment, has been a vocal supporter throughout the process.

“This support demonstrates that redistricting is not a partisan issue…[and] underscores that fair and transparent electoral districts are essential for a healthy democracy and that citizens want to be in charge of the process, not the politicians who have betrayed the public trust,” O’Connor said in a June statement.

LaRose is expected to verify the signatures in the coming weeks; 413,487 of the signatures must be valid for the proposal to qualify for the state’s general election ballot in November.

The Citizens Not Politicians amendment would:

  • Create the 15-member Ohio Citizens Redistricting Commission made up of Republican, Democratic and Independent citizens representing the different geographic areas and demographics of the state.
  • Ban current or former politicians, political party officials, or lobbyists from sitting on the commission.
  • Make it unconstitutional to draw voting districts that discriminate against or favor any political party or individual politician.
  • Require the commission to operate transparently and independently

If the amendment passes in November, the commission would draw new maps that could take effect as early as the 2026 elections.

Read more here.