Ohio congressional candidates file petitions while elections officials plug-in new maps
A group representing boards of elections says workers around the state are "burning the candle on both ends" as potential candidates meet Friday's congressional filing deadline.
Aaron Ockerman, executive director of the Ohio Association of Elections Officials, says while congressional hopefuls file their petitions by this afternoon, local boards of elections are working around the clock to implement the newly-drawn 15 congressional districts.
"We are pretty much today just kind of cramming for the test and starting to do all this kind of mundane back-end work associated with redrawing maps," says Ockerman.
That includes assigning voters to their new districts and preparing ballots.
Republicans on the Ohio Redistricting Commission approved a new congressional map after the previous plan, passed by GOP lawmakers, was found unconstitutional by the Ohio Supreme Court.
This week lawmakers approved an additional $9 million in funding for local boards of elections to hire more staff and account for the extra work that needs to be done to hold the primary on May 3.
Local boards of elections are using the congressional district map adopted by the Ohio Redistricting Commission on March 2.
The previous map was found unconstitutional by the Ohio Supreme Court. Plaintiffs have the ability to raise objections to the new map.
Secretary of State Frank LaRose has said if the map is rejected, “at that point it is just not possible that those contests would end up on the May 3 primary. It is simply at that point 'the ship has sailed' I guess you could say.”