CADIZ – A special primary election will take place on Aug. 2.
It may be a little confusing for some, that an election is happening in August but Harrison County Board of Elections Director Dion Troiano is ready to clear up the uncertainty.
“It is a primary election,” he said. “The reason we’re having it is because they couldn’t agree on a set of district maps that complied with the constitutional amendment that was passed.”
The amendment in question was to stop gerrymandering in Ohio. Gerrymandering is when the boundaries of an electoral district are manipulated in order to favor one political party over another. Because of this amendment, district maps needed to be remade but they need to be made to new standards which is a process.
“The Ohio Redistricting Committee would meet, they would create a set of maps and have to submit those to the Supreme Court for review. [The court] would say ‘yes they comply’ or ‘no they don’t,’” he said.
All maps need to be approved by the court before use in the state.
Troiano explained that this has been an issue for Ohio, “Well they repeatedly had maps that were thrown out because they did not comply with the constitutional guidelines.”
With the process taking so much time, there was litigation filed in March for the US court to step in to keep Ohio moving toward completion of the maps.
“They said that if the Ohio legislature didn’t have anything by the end of May, they would step in” and select a previously submitted map to use only for the rest of 2022. Then it would fall to the legislature to come up with maps in 2023 for use in the 2024 presidential election.
The issue with the mapping of electoral districts meant that several items couldn’t be on the May primary so now Ohio needs to hold this special election for the state representative and the two state central committee man and woman seats, for both parties. The ballot on Aug. 2 will have these three to vote for and one liquor option in Franklin Township.
With such a small ballot and relatively short notice, Troiano doesn’t expect a large turnout. “Historically, when these have happened, the average has been ten to fifteen percent voter turnout,” he said. That “we’re not expecting a whole bunch of people,” which is why the polling locations have been condensed down to only five. Both state representative seats are running unopposed and will likely move on to November.
Make sure you are registered to vote and find your polling place for Aug. 2.
Voting hours will be standard 6:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. The polling locations for this election are different for this election and this election only, Troiano said. You will be back to your regular polling places in November.
For information, direct questions to the Board of Elections at 740-942-8866.