MIAMI VALLEY — Early voting for Ohio’s second primary election began Wednesday.
The state’s first primary was in May, but due to Ohio’s redistricting drama, voters will have to go back to the polls on Aug. 2.
By splitting the primary election into two different dates, Ohio Secretary of State Frank LaRose said he estimates it is costing state taxpayers roughly $20 million.
August’s ballot will include candidates for Ohio’s House and Senate.
Many people are having to deal with the fallout of the split primary — especially local board of election offices.
“We wish that we could have gotten things done earlier, sooner, had good maps that we could all move forward with using for years and years and it doesn’t look like that’s happened for us. With that being said, we do what the Secretary of State, the State Legislature and the courts tell us to do,” Lynn McCoy, Greene County Board of Elections deputy director said.
They are now working against the two deadlines at once.
The Aug. 2 primary is weeks away, and the general election in November is four months out.
“Our election calendar begins on day 120, so we start counting down from there with different tasks that each staff member is responsible for. We’re doing that dually right now,” Laura Bruns, Miami County Board of Elections director said.
Ohio’s Redistricting Commission had to redraw Ohio House and Senate maps with the latest census data.
They could not come up with court-approved maps in time to get state lawmaker races on the ballot in May.
State lawmakers just approved sending nearly $20 million to Ohio’s 88 counties to cover the additional costs of the special primary.
It’s still Ohio tax revenue, but the money will prevent counties from having to spend any extra money out of their local budgets.
Multiple area board of elections officials said they expect turnout to be low next month — possibly in the single digits.
They said they are ready to meet the deadline challenges they’re facing to provide a secure and accurate election next month.
The deadline to ask for an absentee ballot for the Aug. 2 election is July 30.
Local board of election directors said getting the request for absentee requests in as early as possible is best.
For a directory of your local board of elections visit here.
©2022 Cox Media Group