Editorial: Costly election happens soon

A recent editorial by the Sandusky Register:

Yes, there really is a second primary election in Ohio on Aug. 2. Yes, it’s a statewide race. And yes, it’s going to cost taxpayers an extra $20 million to pay for it. In Erie County alone it cost $200,000.

Early voting has already begun and the ballots are for legislative races only for the Ohio Statehouse, the place where the folly and waste of this election can be traced back to. It’s also where the blame can be affixed.

Majorities in the House and Senate defied the state’s constitution, which includes amendments overwhelmingly approved by Ohio voters years ago to end the practice of gerrymandering. This was supposed to end unfair elections in the state.

Republicans were not able to do that, instead developing new gerrymandered district maps, which is the exact thing voters were against. Leading the charge were the majority members of the Ohio Redistricting Commission, Gov. Mike DeWine, Secretary of State Frank LaRose, State Auditor Keith Faber, House Speaker Bob Cupp and Senate President Matt Huffman.

This has dragged out the process, and it comes at a cost. The $20 million for this election is reason enough to question why the wishes of the people were disregarded. There are many needs for services in our states — schools, cities and counties come to mind — but these funds being tied to an unnecessary election is a failure to act in the interest of the public.

This is an unreasonable folly and one that should be remembered. Interests of the public should always rise of those of their party. We’ll see if the voters remember this failure when it’s time to choose those who elect them.

When do I vote?

More than half (54%) the respondents to a survey at sanduskyregister.com didn’t know about the Aug. 2 primary election.

But a sizable chunk (41%) did know about the primary election next month.

Most votes in the survey selected November for when the next election would be. The general election — in which ballots include races, issues and initiatives for local, state and federal governments — will be in November.

It’s not rare to see an August election, but normally Ohio’s primary elections — when political parties select nominees for local, state and federal races — is in March or in May.

This year, a second primary was scheduled because lawmakers failed to keep up with a schedule for redistricting and ultimately failed to follow the law that prohibited the majority from drawing district maps that give their party unfair advantages in elections.

This primary election is to select party nominees in districts the state Supreme Court found were unconstitutional. …

All seats in the Ohio House are on the ballot for party nominees; who will hold the office beginning in 2023 will be decided in November. …

— Sandusky Register, July 12