Republicans, Democrats and Independents from across Ohio today began collecting signatures from their fellow citizens to put the Citizens Not Politicians Amendment to end gerrymandering on the ballot in November 2024.
“We are a united movement of Ohioans of all walks of life and across the political spectrum,” said Michael Ahern, an Independent voter from Blacklick. “This has nothing to do with red and blue; this is about empowering citizens and restoring true representative democracy that reflects the voters of Ohio.”
The coalition must collect 413,487 valid signatures of registered voters by July 3, 2024, to qualify for the November 2024 Ohio General Election Ballot.
“For years, I have seen how politicians, both Democrats and Republicans, ignore the will of their constituents, knowing they will continue to be elected and reelected, not because they have earned the support of a majority of voters, but because they have rigged the system in their favor,” said signature gatherer Nadia Zaiem of Westlake. “This has left many of us in Ohio without a voice and without representatives who truly advocate for us. It’s time to take politicians out of the process.”
Another volunteer from Dayton expressed the frustration of many citizens and how this serves as a strong motivation for Ohioans of all political backgrounds.
“Our democracy is under siege. I have met many people in the past two decades whom I’ve asked to sign a petition who have said, ‘I’ve never done this before’ to which I have responded ‘I’ve never felt so compelled to get involved for democracy before,’” said Dayton resident and volunteer signature gatherer Bill Davis. “People need to be heard to have a strong democracy. This is the latest step in the direction the people want to go in Ohio to demand the People, Not Politicians draw fair district lines to be sure no party or individual can pick voters instead of voters picking candidates as it should be.”
- 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.
- Require the commission to operate under an open and independent process.
Currently, the process of redistricting is controlled by politicians who are able to draw districts that all but ensure their own re-election. This amendment puts an end to that by banning current and recent political officeholders, those with strong political party or campaign ties, and lobbyists from participating in the process, and instead empowers Ohio citizens by creating the OCRC and requiring the Commission to draw fair maps through an open and independent process.
The amendment and updated summary can be found at www.citizensnotpoliticians.org/petition.
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.