Ohio's elections officials strongly discourage the idea of having two primaries this year
The idea has been floated by some legislative leaders because of redistricting issues.
Some legislative leaders are saying it’s going to be difficult to hold a May primary for Congressional and Legislative races because of problems with adopting new redistricting maps. They’ve suggested holding the vote for only those in a separate election later. But elections officials are discouraging the idea.
Aaron Ockerman with the Ohio Association of Election Officials says holding two primaries would be expensive.
“Elections aren’t cheap. It takes resources and manpower to staff and conduct elections. There are a lot of materials that have to be purchased, whether it is ballots or polling locations and paying poll workers. And it was not cheap. In 2011, when we were talking to the state legislature about the possibility of conducting two elections, we estimated it would cost around $15 million dollars and elections have only gotten more complex in the last 10 years so I think that number is probably low for 2022," Ockerman says.
Ockerman says it takes a lot of time to plan for elections and adds there isn’t just isn't time to plan for two sets of poll workers, polling locations, and more. Plus he notes turnout is traditionally low in these primary elections and holding two could drive down turnout further. Ockerman sent lawmakers a letter outlining his concerns about the possibility and urging them to continue with the plan to hold one primary on May 3, 2022.