Republicans are the Only Ones to Blame for the Election Chaos They Created
March 21, 2022
For Immediate Release:
Monday, March 21, 2022
Columbus, OH — Media outlets across Ohio are reporting on the election chaos that has been created by Republican members of the redistricting commission who have failed to do their job time and time again and pass fair maps. The redistricting commission first met in August 2021. In the seven months since, Republicans have blown past constitutional deadlines, passed five separate sets of GOP-gerrymandered maps and each time ignored the directives of Ohio voters and the Ohio Supreme Court. They are solely to blame for the election chaos that has been created by their failure to do their job.
“Republicans on the redistricting commission have had chance after chance to listen to the will of Ohio voters and pass fair maps. Instead, they’ve failed us and failed to follow the law. Now, Republicans continue to play the blame game and drag their feet rather than do their jobs and pass a fair map. Ohioans are sick and tired of the games, it’s time for Republicans on the commission to get to work, ” said Ohio Democratic Party spokesperson Matt Keyes.
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March 21, 2022
- LaRose also said without action from a federal court, only the statewide election races (like governor and treasurer, for example), congressional races and local contests will be on the ballots.
- Congressional races could be in trouble as well, if the state’s highest court decides those are also invalid. The court is currently considering the second revision of the map, sent to them earlier this month after the court struck down the first attempt by the Ohio Redistricting Commission.
- It’s not clear how another primary will happen, since Senate President Matt Huffman and House Speaker Bob Cupp have both said there isn’t an “appetite” for a change to the date of the primary, and Huffman’s offer of two different primary dates “went over like a lead balloon,” he told reporters on multiple occasions.
- According to Ohio law, the General Assembly takes the lead on any changes to the “time, place and manner” of elections in the state.
March 17, 2022
- Secretary of State Frank LaRose said Thursday that it’s impossible to hold a May 3rd primary with state House and Senate races after the Ohio Supreme Court struck down a third set of legislative maps.
- In a letter to lawmakers and Gov. Mike DeWine, LaRose said election officials would proceed with plans for a May 3rd primary with statewide, local and congressional races unless otherwise instructed.
- He also directed local boards of election not to send or alter any ballots because of pending litigation, even though military and overseas ballots are supposed to go out Friday under federal law.
- Barring any court-ordered action, officials must now decide between two complicated and potentially costly options: postponing the election or splitting up the primary.
- The state could proceed with a May 3rd primary only for statewide candidates, local candidates and issues because those aren’t subject to district boundaries. A second election for legislative and congressional candidates could be held at a later date, giving officials more time to finalize maps.
- But that’s an expensive prospect. LaRose estimated it could cost taxpayers an extra $20 million to $25 million, and lawmakers already approved $9.2 million to help election officials get ready for May 3.
- Democrats and voting rights groups have been pushing the GOP-controlled Legislature for weeks to postpone the primary and contend that’s the best path forward.
March 19, 2022
- Even if the commission meets the March 28 deadline, it will be too late to ready ballots for early April, when early voting starts. That means the election either will have to be postponed or split into pieces — unless state officials get a different court to intervene.
- House Speaker Bob Cupp, one of the five Republicans on the commission, raised doubts on Saturday that the commission could find and hire outside consultants and draw a map in public on the court’s timetable, with the May 3 election looming.