Politicians, lobbyists, and party officials would be banned from serving on new citizens redistricting commission
Columbus, OH—The committee Citizens Not Politicians today filed a revised petition summary with the Ohio Attorney General for a statewide ballot initiative to eliminate the state’s politician-dominated commission for drawing state and federal legislative districts. The constitutional amendment would instead create a 15-member Ohio Citizens Redistricting Commission (OCRC), with members selected by citizens, not politicians. The OCRC would be made up of Democrats, Republicans and independent Ohio voters.
The group first filed its petition summary with the Attorney General on Aug. 14. On Aug. 23, the Attorney General rejected the group’s original filing and stated specific changes he claimed were needed to achieve certification.
“We made adjustments in response to the Attorney General’s guidance and refiled our summary of the petition along with thousands of signatures from everyday Ohioans who understand that the current politician-run system is broken because it allows politicians and lobbyists to manipulate voting districts to protect their interests,” said Citizens Not Politicians Spokesperson Chris Davey. “It’s time to put citizens, not politicians, in charge and to require a process that is open and maps that are fair.”
The 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.
The Ohio Attorney General has 10 days to determine if the summary is a fair and truthful statement of the proposed constitutional amendment.
Once the petition is certified, the Attorney General forwards it to the Ohio Ballot Board, which has 10 days to determine if it contains only one constitutional amendment.
After Ballot Board certification, the Attorney General must file a verified copy of the proposed constitutional amendment and summary, along with the Attorney General’s certification, 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.
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.