Ohio Voters First turned in 300,000 more signatures for its redistricting amendment July 28, bringing the grand total of signatures turned in to 750,000. In a statement, the organization said the new signatures should be enough for the amendment to secure a place on the November ballot.
The organization originally turned in 450,000 signatures on July 3, which supporters thought would be enough to meet the 385,000 threshold. But Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted announced July 18 that the organization had only gathered 254,625 valid signatures, forcing the group to seek more support.
The amendment if passed would reform Ohio’s redistricting process.
Under the current system, politicians get together every 10 years to redraw district borders. The system has been abused in a process called “gerrymandering,” which involves the political party in charge redrawing district borders in politically advantageous ways.
For Cincinnati’s district, the Republican-controlled committee redrew district borders to include Warren County. The new borders will give Republicans an advantage in the district in upcoming elections by adding many more Republican voters.
If the amendment is put on the ballot and approved by voters, all districts would be redrawn by an independent citizens commission. Redistricting would still occur by decade, but politicians would have little say in the process.The Ohio Republican Party has come out against the amendment. Since Ohio established its redistricting law in 1967, Republicans have been in power to decide district boundaries four out of six times.