Demonstrators rally against gerrymandering in the Ohio state capitol

Demonstrators rally for an end to gerrymandering and an anti-gerrymandering state constitutional amendment in the Ohio Statehouse Atrium on July 1, 2024.

(Photo: Nick Hubbell/X)

Campaign Collects 730,000+ Signatures for Ohio Amendment to End Rigged Maps

"Our chance to finally achieve fair maps in Ohio is just around the corner," said one supporter of the proposed constitutional amendment.

The campaign for an Ohio ballot measure for a state constitutional amendment to end gerrymandering has collected more than 730,000 signatures, according to the initiative's organizers.

The Citizens Not Politicians campaign said it delivered 731,306 signatures to the office of Ohio's secretary of state in Columbus on Monday, significantly more than the 413,487 valid signatures needed to qualify for November's ballot.

If approved, 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; and
  • Require the commission to operate under an open and independent process.
Nearly 100 organizations, businesses, and thought leaders across Ohio are supporting the amendment. If the measure is certified for November's ballot and approved by voters, the new commission could draw maps for use as soon as the 2026 elections. Seven other states have similar independent commissions: Arizona, California, Colorado, Idaho, Michigan, Montana, and Washington.

After the delivery, hundreds of campaign staff, volunteers, and supporters rallied in the Statehouse Atrium to celebrate their achievement and send a message to gerrymandering politicians.

"This is our house, the people's house, and with today's signature turn-in, we move one giant step closer to ensuring that the citizens decide who serves here, not the politicians who just scheme and rig the game to stay in power," said retired Ohio Supreme Court Chief Justice Maureen O'Connor, a Republican who helped write the amendment. "This constitutional amendment will restore power to Ohio citizens and take it away from the self-serving politicians and their lobbyist friends and big-money donors."

Ted Linscott, a retired bricklayer from Appalachian Ohio, said: "Where I come from, we believe in fairness and working together to do what's right. For too long, career politicians and their lobbyist friends have manipulated our districts to serve their interests. It's time we put an end to this. We need a system that is open, transparent, and fair."

According to the Citizens Not Politicians campaign:

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 my work for voter access and education, I have seen firsthand how gerrymandering creates a Legislature that is ineffective and unresponsive to the needs of Ohio voters," amendment supporter Tucker Sutherland said. "They don't have to care what we think because they draw themselves into cozy districts where they often don't even face opposition for reelection."

Equal Districts, a coalition of 30 advocacy groups, said on social media that "our chance to finally achieve fair maps in Ohio is just around the corner."

"Let's end gerrymandering in Ohio," the group added.

Our work is licensed under Creative Commons (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0). Feel free to republish and share widely.