Local elections leaders: 'Please come out and vote'
Early voting for the Ohio state House and Senate special primary in August begins Wednesday. The primary was delayed after the state’s high court repeatedly ruled new district maps unconstitutional.
To discuss how the delayed primary affects voters, seven county board of election leaders from Southwest Ohio held a press conference at the Montgomery County Board of Elections offices.
Several county board of elections directors and deputy directors shared plans for how they will administer the primary. Some officials are concerned voters might not know there’s a second primary.
Last month Ohio lawmakers approved $20 million of taxpayer money to fund the contentious primary. But officials are expecting lower voter turnout, some as low as 5%.
Llyn McCoy, deputy director of the Greene County Board of Elections, said she’s urging voters to reach out to their local board of elections with any questions they may have on issues on the ballot or candidates running for a state office.
“I just hope that voters' uncertainty doesn't lead to them staying home because they don't know what they're voting on or they don't know what to do, that would just be terrible,” McCoy said. “We're spending this money, we're having this election. Please come out and vote.”
The first round of primaries was in May, voters picked congressional candidates, including the governor's seat. The second round of primaries for August comes due to delays and constitutional challenges in Ohio’s redistricting process — which began back in August of 2021.
Sarah Greathouse, the Deputy Director at the Montgomery County Board of elections, said running an election like this one isn’t easy, especially with a limited timeline.
“It takes a minimum of 90 to 100 days to run a good election on reasonable timelines. So do not even know whether or not you have an election until day 67 it calls a lot of other deadlines into question. And that in and of itself is incredibly stressful,” Greathouse said.
With low turnout expected, county board of elections officials said they aren’t too concerned about running into many issues, although the quick turnaround is stressful.
Still, officials said this additional primary is costing taxpayers money so they are urging voters to come out and vote. The primary is August 2 and the general election will be November 8, the registration deadline for the general election is October 11.
Weeks One, Two and Three
- 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. (Wednesday, July 6 to Friday July 22)
- 8:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. from July 25 to Friday July 29
- 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. on Saturday, July 30
- 1:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. on Sunday, July 31
- 8:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. on Monday, August 1
Locations can be found at a county board of elections website or by calling.
Alejandro Figueroa is a corps member with Report for America, a national service program that places journalists into local newsrooms.