UPDATE: On Nov. 20, 2023, the Ohio Ballot Board approved the amendment. Citizens Not Politicians can begin collecting signatures to place the proposal on the ballot.
WASHINGTON, D.C — Earlier today, Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost (R) accepted ballot language for a proposed independent redistricting amendment to the state constitution after the group behind the proposal fixed a small language typo.
Language summarizing the proposal — which would create a 15-member citizen-led commission — had previously been rejected by Yost two times, before he accepted it in early October. However, Citizens Not Politicians, the group spearheading the proposal, proactively informed Yost of a sentence incorrectly specifying when the proposed commission must adopt new legislative maps.
The mistake meant the group had to collect another 1,000 signatures and resubmit the language to Yost. Now that Yost has approved the latest version, the Ohio Ballot Board must sign off on the language, at which point Citizens Not Politicians could begin collecting signatures for the amendment to be placed on the November 2024 ballot.
The proposed commission would consist entirely of citizens, and be evenly split between Democrats, Republicans and independents. Although Ohio already has a redistricting commission — the Ohio Redistricting Commission (ORC) — it is dominated by Republicans and consists only of elected officials.
In September, the ORC unanimously adopted legislative maps that are gerrymandered to heavily favor Republicans. The ORC had previously passed five sets of legislative maps, all of which were struck down by the Ohio Supreme Court for being partisan gerrymanders. If the independent redistricting commission measure is placed on the ballot and wins, all of the state’s maps would be deemed void and have to be redrawn.