Ohio Attorney General Rejects Ballot Language for Citizen-Led Redistricting Commission

WASHINGTON, D.C. —  On Wednesday, Aug. 23, Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost (R) rejected ballot language submitted by a pro-voting group seeking to implement a citizen-led redistricting commission. In a letter, Yost claimed that the submitted summary was not a “fair and truthful representation of the proposed amendment.”

Yost listed nine reasons he felt the language was unacceptable. Among them, he alleged that the summary statement was confusing and vague, contained a material misrepresentation and left out critical words, and argued that the current language would mislead potential signers. 

Chris Davey, the spokesperson of Citizens Not Politicians, which submitted the summary, said in a statement that “[I]t is not at all uncommon for the Attorney General to reject the summary of a petition in this first early stage of bringing a constitutional amendment” and that they believed their summary was accurate.

The rejection does not spell the end for the potential amendment. The group can revise the summary and re-submit the summary after gathering 1,000 new signatures, a move Davey said will happen as soon as possible.

While Ohio technically has had a redistricting commission since 2018, it has not produced fair maps. The current redistricting commission in Ohio is heavily controlled by Republicans and made up only of elected officials or individuals appointed by them. The proposed commission would consist entirely of citizens, and be split evenly between Democrats, Republicans and independents. 

Read the attorney general’s letter here.