Senate District 9
Cecil Thomas
Thomas, Maharath Introduce Bill to Move Primary Election
March 24, 2022

This week, state Senators Cecil Thomas (D-Avondale) and Tina Maharath (D-Canal Winchester) introduced Senate Bill 316, legislation that would move the date of the May 3 primary to June 28, 2022.

“With the recently invalidated state legislative districts and a decision still pending on our congressional districts, it will be impossible to hold a single primary election if we maintain the May 3 date,” Maharath said. “We must move the primary to give boards of elections the time they need to accurately conduct the primary and ensure that all Ohioans can trust the security of the election.”

The bill, which is co-sponsored by all Democratic senators, comes in response to the continued uncertainty around Ohio’s legislative maps – which were invalidated by the Ohio Supreme Court for the third time ­– and congressional district maps, which have been submitted to the Ohio Supreme Court for approval as part of ongoing litigation. The legislation will give the Court time to issue its rulings on the maps, give local boards of elections time to prepare for the primary election and overseas and military voters an extra 16 days to cast their votes.

“I believe moving the primary is the most prudent and responsible action to take right now to protect Ohioans’ ability to exercise their fundamental right to vote,” Thomas said. “In order to avoid unnecessary chaos and potential errors, we must relieve the pressure our boards of elections are facing as they prepare for the primary.”

Calls to move the primary election have widespread Democratic support. In a February 28 letter to Senate President Matt Huffman (R-Lima), the Ohio Association of Election Officials also voiced concerns about maintaining the May 3 primary date: “‘It takes three things to run a successful election: time, money and people. You can always get more money and more people, but you can’t get more time.’…What we really need is more time,” they said.

Read more about the legislation here.

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