The Truth Staff
Early voting for the second Ohio primary of this election season opened last week, Wednesday, July 6, at the new Early Voting Center at 3737 Sylvania Avenue, Entrance C, and local Democratic elected officials and candidates gathered to express their hope that voters will turn out in numbers to cast their ballots.
“We’re here today because of Republicans in Columbus who drew one of the most egregious maps in the country,” said Lucas County Democratic Party Chairman Michael Ashford as he led the press conference and began the litany of complaints the Democrats have locally and throughout Ohio about the confusion caused by the Republican gerrymandered districts. “They created voter chaos and confusion,” Ashford continued.
“Ninety nine of 100 voters don’t know who they are voting for … it’s a distraction because here in Lucas County, Republicans want to slow down the turnout,” he added. Ashford is also the Lucas County Recorder.
Lucas County Commissioner Pete Gerken also took the Republican elected officials in Columbus to task for making this election cycle’s voting process so confusing.
“By design, candidates did not know how to campaign,” he said of the map dilemma that kept so many Ohio House candidates unaware of district lines and who their potential constituents might be.
“But we will find a way … to overcome every obstacle this legislature has put in our way,” said Gerken.
This special election is the second primary election before the November 8 general election because the state repeatedly drew redistricting maps that were rejected by the Ohio courts. Several races, including Ohio House, Senate and State Central Committee did not make it onto the May 3 primary ballot.
“They tried to make it very difficult for people to vote by having wo primaries,” said State Representative Lisa Sobecki.
“We have been gerrymandered out of our districts,” added State Representative Paula Hicks-Hudson. “We can make voters aware that election day is now.”
Also speaking at the Early Voting Center on the day that early voting began were candidates for two Ohio House seats – Erika White and Elgin Rogers – both of whom were in the dark after they declared their candidacies about what their future district might look like.
“Early voting is for workers to give them an opportunity,” said White. “This is for working class voters.”
“What’s at stake is $1.6 billion,” said Rogers, noting that is the amount spent by the State of Ohio in 2021 for social benefits such as Medicaid. “We are living in tough economic times.”
Early voting for the second primary continues until August 1, with various hours. From today through July 22, early vote hours will be Monday through Friday, from 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. From July 25 – 29, early vote hours will be 8 a.m. – 7 p.m. On Saturday, July 30 the early voting will take place from 8 a.m. – 4 p.m. On Sunday, July 31, early voting will take place from 1 – 5 p.m. For the final day of early voting on August 1, the hours will be 8 a.m. – 2 p.m. For more information voters may contact the Lucas County Board of Elections at 419-213-4001 or www.lucascountyohiovotes.gov.