ROUNDUP: Frank LaRose’s Lack of Leadership is Costing Ohio Voters
July 29, 2022
Columbus, OH — With Ohio’s second primary election taking place in just a few days, there are massive concerns and chaos surrounding the unprecedented second primary. Counties are scrambling to get the required number of poll workers, many Ohioans still don’t know about the second primary or understand why it’s taking place and why all of this is costing Ohioans tens of millions of dollars.
It’s all because Frank LaRose voted for GOP-gerrymandered maps time and time again, ignored pleas from elections officials to avoid two primaries and failed to provide the necessary guidance to Ohioans about the second primary election.
In the meantime, LaRose has been taking trips overseas and out-of-state rather than working here in Ohio to make sure our elections officials have the workers, resources and guidance they need and increasing awareness and turnout ahead of the unprecedented second primary election.
“Instead of Frank LaRose doing all he can to support county election officials in the final days leading up to this costly second primary, he’s nowhere to be found. He created this election chaos and confusion and left working Ohioans to fend for themselves. Ohioans deserve better,” said Ohio Democratic Party spokesperson Matt Keyes.
Read more below:
July 28, 2022
- If Knox County residents are confused about the Aug. 2 special election, it’s with good reason.
- A federal court ordered Ohio to hold a special election because the Ohio Redistricting Commission could not come up with a map the Ohio Supreme Court considered constitutional.
- As a result of the redistricting process, Knox County is split into two districts for the Ohio House.
- There are no maps that show exactly where the dividing line is.
- “No one is happy about the split districts,” said Kathleen Tate, chair of the Knox County Democratic Party. “First, the way the maps were drawn without following the guidelines set down in the Ohio Constitution, and secondly, the way the Ohio Supreme Court decisions were totally ignored, have not endeared the state senate and governor to many Knox County voters.”
- “People are confused because of the number of maps that were presented, the length of time it took to get a final map, and the back-and-forth between the legislature and the courts,” Thom Collier, chair of the Knox County Republican Party, said. “Adding a special primary for a limited number of races has added to voter confusion and disconnect.
- “The voting process is being hindered because people don’t know there is an election,” Tate said. “Some even consider this to be an illegal election. Fewer poll workers are willing to put in the time to support the election.”
- “Constituents want to be engaged, but it is difficult to educate them with the constant changes and inconsistencies,” Collier said. “Most people I talk to think it is ridiculous, unnecessary, and confusing. We do what we can to educate voters, but mass communication is expensive. We have made several attempts, but no one source reaches all of the people without spending large amounts of money we don’t have locally.”
July 27, 2022
- Last week in this space we took a stab at explaining the pretzel logic and Republican scamming of the system which has led us to an embarrassing and illogical position: In November, we will hold an election for Ohio’s 15 congressional districts using a map that has already been ruled unconstitutional by the Ohio Supreme Court.
- Next week, Ohio is about to do it again. In a primary election where a turnout of 10% will be considered remarkable.
- Because the Republicans who control the redistricting process in Ohio wanted to do an end run around that pesky Ohio Supreme Court, which kept insisting they follow the law.
- They found a group of Ohio GOP voters — headed by Mike Gonidakis, the president of Ohio Right to Life — to file a lawsuit in U.S. District Court here asking the court to essentially take over the state legislative redistricting process.
- They ended up with a friendly three-judge panel to hear their case — two of the judges were Trump appointees.
- That panel, of course, sided with the plaintiffs, Gonidakis et al, and set an election date of Aug. 2, which Ohio Secretary of State Frank LaRose (a member of the redistricting commission) argued was the latest date on which a primary could be held without bumping up against the official election calendar of the November election.
July 27, 2022
- Franklin County is 829 poll workers short of the staffing needed for Tuesday’s primary election, according to the Ohio Secretary of State’s poll worker tracker.
- As far as why there aren’t that many poll workers for the state’s second or split primary on Aug. 2, Sellers attributed the shortage to the time of year. While the state’s elections calendar allows for August contests, it’s usually reserved for special elections, with primaries happening in May.
- On July 14, the county Board of Elections released 12 pages of polling location changes, saying standard polling places were unavailable “because of pre-planned events and other activities” due to the timing of the Aug. 2 primary.
- The districts are based on a set of maps the Ohio Supreme Court twice rejected as unconstitutional, saying they unfairly favored Republicans.
- A back-and-forth battle over redistricting prevented state House and Senate races from appearing on the May ballot. Instead, two federal judges ordered the state to use the unconstitutional maps and set an Aug. 2 primary.
- “We were hoping that the redistricting process would be done and we could have the primary in May,” Sellers said.