COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) – Ohioans will soon be at the polls for a second primary election due to the state’s ongoing redistricting saga.
Ohio Secretary of State Frank LaRose said the message he needs to get out is the fact that there will be a second primary election Aug. 2.
Ohio will hold the second of three elections in 2022 after months of delays and disagreements over maps setting districts for the General Assembly.
“It was time to run an election,” LaRose said. “What the worst-case scenario would have been is if we hadn’t had any map to run this election.”
The U.S. federal court implemented a plan for the current election cycle, naming a date of Aug. 2 and implementing the third set of statehouse maps approved by the Ohio Redistricting Commission after the commission repeatedly failed to pass maps ruled constitutional by the Ohio Supreme Court.
LaRose was a member of that commission.
He said preparations are partially finished and will kick back up next week after the 88 county boards of elections wrap up their work from the May primary election.
“Right now, the boards are actually considering candidates, making sure that their names are correct and that their ballots are laid out correctly so that they can start producing those ballots for next week,” LaRose said.
A second primary election will cost the state an estimated $25 million.
“We worked with the state legislature to secure $20 million to help the counties cover this cost because I made the commitment early on that the counties would not be left holding that bag, if you will, on paying for this election on their own,” LaRose said.
The Aug. 2 election will work just like all other elections: time for early voting, absentee ballots, and open polls on Election Day.
When it comes to redistricting and the map-making process, LaRose believes there should be a pause for now.
“The voters of Ohio get a chance to make their voices heard about who’s even going to be on the redistricting commission,” he said. “Remember it’s up to them ultimately to decide who the seven members of the commission are going to be.”
All seats in the Ohio House of Representatives and about half of the Ohio Senate will be on the ballot.