Ohio Voter Rights Coalition Asks for Fair Maps First, Then One Primary Date

Columbus — The Ohio Voter Rights Coalition (OVRC) sent the following letter to the Ohio General Assembly, reinforcing the letter the Ohio Association of Election Officials sent to President Matt Huffman, and asking for fair maps first before settling on one primary date. The coalition warned how a rushed election would result in technical errors and cause confusion for voters.  

“It doesn’t make sense to put the cart before the horse,” said Catherine Turcer, Common Cause Ohio Executive Director. “Scheduling an election before voting maps are in place, before districts are in place simply causes confusion. Ohio is not ready to start planning for an accurate election until we have fair maps in place.” 

In the letter, the coalition writes, “The Ohio Voter Rights Coalition is asking the General Assembly to ensure that we have fair maps that are truly representative of Ohio voters. That cannot happen in time for the May 3 primary, so the General Assembly needs to delay the primary for all contests in order to administer a fair and accurate election with one primary.” 

“Ohioans have the right to free, fair, secure, and well-planned elections” said Jen Miller, League of Women Voters of Ohio Executive Director. “Boards of Elections need adequate time and resources to plan and administer elections, and voters need time to know what is on their ballot and do their research. State leaders must first fulfill their responsibility to deliver fair maps and then set a primary date that will ensure a smooth, free, and fair primary.” 

Currently, the Ohio Supreme Court is in the process of ruling on state legislative maps. The Commission has announced that a vote on a revised congressional map is expected as early as tomorrow, March 2.  

On April 5, 2021, Fair Districts Ohio sent a letter encouraging the legislature to move the primary to provide adequate time for mapmaking. 

To view the coalition’s letter, click here.