COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) – The primary election is quickly approaching and there are several deadlines Ohio is looking to meet in the coming days, including sending out military ballots for those serving overseas.
One of those military wives is concerned because of where the state sits with district maps that make up the ballots.
The legislative and congressional maps adopted by the Ohio Redistricting Commission are facing challenges in the Ohio Supreme Court at this time, something that concerns military spouse Jackie Patton.
Patton’s husband Scott is in the Army, as was her brother-in-law Jerry, who gave the ultimate sacrifice in 2008.
“I believe they deserve to know who they are voting for before they receive their ballot,” she said.
Patton has been following what has been happening with Ohio’s maps which could impact the ballots set to be sent off to soldiers overseas. Local boards of election have been directed by Ohio Secretary of State Frank LaRose to create the ballots using the state legislative and Congressional maps created by the Ohio Redistricting Commission, even as those maps await Ohio Supreme Court rulings on whether they are constitutional.
“Knowing what’s going on in Ukraine and having service members deployed, protecting our NATO allies, I believe we should be doing everything in our power here in Ohio to afford them the time be informed and educated voters,” Patton said.
Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine signed legislation this past week to extend the return deadline by 10 days for overseas ballots and provide expedited postage for those ballots.
“I believe that giving them the option to being able to have the primary on May 3 is the right thing to do for those that we work for and those that we serve,” said state Sen. Stephanie Kunze (R-16th District).
“Is May the third the date,” asked state Sen. Hearcel Craig (D-15th District). I know the board are struggling to make sure that they do this thing correctly, effectively, efficiently, where all votes are counted and that we respect the process.”
Patton believes what is needed is time.
“This seems like a Band-Aid, not a solution and I believe the solution that makes most sense for everyone is moving that primary date back,” she said.
LaRose has said repeatedly throughout the redistricting process that is a map was invalidated, those races would not make it onto a May 3 ballot.