Ohio to hold two primaries; early voting underway

Ohio to hold two primaries; early voting underway
Published: Apr. 5, 2022 at 2:11 PM EDT
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LAWRENCE COUNTY, Ohio (WSAZ) -- Tuesday marks the first day of early voting in the state of Ohio, but a big part of the ballot is missing.

A failure to adopt congressional redistricting maps at the state level means the state will have to have yet another primary later this year.

Secretary of State Frank LaRose said an overwhelming amount of lawsuits filed by out-of-state special interests groups have challenged the redistricting process in the Buckeye State.

LaRose says on a typical Election Day, more than 50,000 poll workers help run the election.

Therefore, having a second primary will come with big monetary costs.

“The inability of the redistricting commission to do their job is gonna result in $25 million being wasted on taxpayer money,” said Lawrence County Board of Elections member J.T. Holt. “It would be nice if people in Columbus would hold up their end of the bargain as well.”

Members of the redistricting committee, however, say they feel like other factors are holding them back.

“I believe that as a redistricting commission, we’ve done our duty,” LaRose said. “In the most recent set of maps, the fourth map that we passed, we tried our best to follow that and to try to address some of that asymmetry stuff, as well. It’s time for the Ohio Supreme Court to approve this set of maps so that we can get going forward and prepare for this second primary that we’re going to have to hold.”

The date for the second primary is ultimately up to the state Legislature, but it could be decided by a federal court.

Secretary LaRose is recommending an Aug. 2 date for that election because it’s a day many board of elections offices often hold special elections.

As for the costs of running the logistics of another election, LaRose says he’s going to ask the general assembly to help foot the bill so that county board of elections offices are not left holding the bag.

Secretary LaRose says they are always looking for poll workers, and the state will definitely need them for that second primary.

You can find out more about how to become a poll worker by tapping here.

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