For years, Ohio politicians in charge of the redistricting process have ignored their duties (and several Supreme Court of Ohio orders) to Ohioans by consistently drawing maps that put their power before our rights.
How did we end up here?
In 2011, Ohio Republicans with the help of the Republican State Leadership Committee devised a plan to secure control of our state legislature. What should have been an open and transparent process to draw fair, representative maps in Ohio quickly became a secretive effort to secure one-party control. Ohioans fought back, and in 2015 and 2018, voted overwhelmingly to pass redistricting reforms aimed at eliminating partisan gerrymandering in our state through the creation of the Ohio Redistricting Commission. The new constitutional mandates were intended to ensure stricter rules for the map-making process, including requiring transparency, ordering fair representation based on voter preferences, and incentivizing bipartisan approval. Unfortunately, that didn’t play out in the way Ohioans deserved. The Ohio Redistricting Commission spent the last several years defying orders from the Supreme Court of Ohio after our legal team repeatedly challenged the unconstitutional, partisan gerrymandered maps. Just a couple weeks ago, politicians from both major parties came together to ensure their power was protected over our right to fair representation.
The last several decades have proved that politicians should not be trusted to draw our districts. We have the power to end this corrupt cycle. It’s time to remove lobbyists and politicians from the process, and create an independent, citizen-led commission.
What is Citizens Not Politicians?
Citizens Not Politicians (CNP) is a coalition of Ohioans committed to ensuring that voters choose their elected officials, not the other way around. CNP is led by voting rights organizations like Common Cause Ohio, League of Women Voters, Ohio Organizing Collaborative, and the ACLU of Ohio, with support from former Supreme Court of Ohio Chief Justice Maureen O’Connor. This nonpartisan effort will ensure that Ohioans get the fair maps we deserve.
The Citizens Not Politicians Amendment will empower citizens, not politicians, to draw fair districts using an open and transparent process. Here are some of the highlights:
- Create a 15-member Ohio Citizens Redistricting Commission. The Ohio Citizens Redistricting Commission will be made up of five Democratic citizens, five Republican citizens, and five Independent citizens who represent different geographic areas and demographics of our state.
- Ban current or former politicians, political party officials, lobbyists, and large political donors 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, and includes accountability measures for commission members that don’t work transparently.
- Protects against endless rounds of map drawing by establishing a process to have final maps in a timely manner
- Ends prison gerrymandering– an unfair process of counting Ohioans sent to prison as living in the district they are imprisoned in rather than the district they call home.
Now that the Ohio Attorney General approved the summary as “fair and truthful” and the Ohio Ballot Board agreed our amendment is single-subject, we will move forward to collecting the more than 400,000 signatures needed in order to qualify the Citizens Not Politicians amendment for the November 2024 ballot.
Join the fight! It’s going to take all of us to finally get the fair maps we deserve.