We get A LOT of press releases sent to us. And we don’t typically post them in full. But I thought this letter sent to Bill Batchelder by 38 Boards of Elections Members was worth making an exception.

As you may have heard, Republicans in the state legislature are planning to hold two primaries next year at a cost of $15 million each!

The first primary, in March, will be for state legislative candidates, based on the districts approved by the apportionment board. And the second primary, in June, will be for congressional candidates and the presidential primary. We’ve heard rumors that they want to avoid having the presidential primary on Super Tuesday, which is why they have pushed the second primary to June.

But we can find no reasonable explanation why they want to split up the primary into two parts except that they might want to provide Democrats less time to recruit state legislative candidates, who are required to file by tomorrow if they want to be included on the ballot in March.

It’s also unclear who will be paying for the extra primary, but it hardly matters at the end. $15 MILLION is $15 Million that could be spent on something more useful than political games. And a great many of the members of county Boards of Elections seem to agree…

December 6, 2011

Ohio House Speaker Bill Batchelder
77 S. High Street
14th Floor
Columbus, OH 43215

Honorable Speaker Batchelder:

We write as members of county Boards of Elections across Ohio to express our deep concern with the prospect of having two primary elections in 2012. We take seriously our responsibility to hold the necessary number of elections for the voters we serve, but it is simply not necessary for there to be primary elections for federal and state offices on separate dates next year.

As you know, we are facing difficult financial times in our state, and those difficulties have passed down to the local level. County boards of elections across the state undergo incredible challenges because resources have been stretched so thin. The legislature should reverse the undue burden on our boards that has been created by the decision to schedule two primary election days.

More than $15 million will be needed to conduct a second statewide primary election, and we fear that not enough resources will be available for us to conduct both primary elections. If $15 million in funding is in fact available, there are much better ways in which those resources could be spent, including additional poll workers, new voting machines and the like. We welcome additional resources for those purposes as opposed to using that funding to hold a second, unnecessary primary election.

We understand that you are currently involved in bipartisan discussions concerning Congressional redistricting and the 2012 election. We urge you to work across party lines to swiftly reach a solution that includes a single primary election so as to preserve much-needed resources and avoid an additional burden on our local Boards.

Thank you for your prompt attention to this matter.

Sincerely,

Donald Baker, Member of Medina County Board of Elections

George D. Beelen, Member of Mahoning County Board of Elections
Karen Bensonhaver, Member of Pickaway County Board of Elections
Bill Bias, Member of Athens County Board of Elections
George Bringman, Member of Ashland County Board of Elections
Tim Burke, Member of Hamilton County Board of Elections
Janet Carson, Member of Geauga County Board of Elections
Inajo Davis Chappell, Member of Cuyahoga County Board of Elections
Paul Duggan, Member of Williams County Board of Elections
Caleb Faux, Member of Hamilton County Board of Elections
Anne Gerard, Member of Greene County Board of Elections
Tim Gorbach, Member of Summit County Board of Elections
Amy Grubbe, Member of Erie County Board of Elections
Tom Hayes, Member of Knox County Board of Elections
Bill Henderson, Member of Hocking County Board of Elections
Bette Hill, Member of Harrison County Board of Elections
Don Hollister, Member of Greene County Board of Elections
Wayne Jones, Member of Summit County Board of Elections
Dan Laity, Member of Ottawa County Board of Elections
Dave Lane, Member of Clermont County Board of Elections
Dennis Lieberman, Member of Montgomery County Board of Elections
Kim E. Marinello, Member of Franklin County Board of Elections
Sandy McNair, Member of Cuyahoga County Board of ElectionsGeorge E. McNamara, Member of Wyandot County Board of Elections
Pam Miller, Member of Medina County Board of Elections
Beverly Moore, Member of Warren County Board of Elections
Dinah Phillips, Member of Highland County Board of Elections
Thomas J. Ritchie Sr., Member of Montgomery County Board of Elections
Ron Rhine, Member of Clark County Board of Elections
Barbara Sizemore, Member of Warren County Board of Elections
Cassandra Stein, Member of Richland County Board of Elections
Nancy J. Stephani, Member of Hancock County Board of Elections
Greg Studen, Member of Geauga County Board of Elections
Tom Tagliamonte, Member of Lake County Board of Elections
Don Traxler, Member of Hardin County Board of Elections
Bob Wasko, Member of Mahoning County Board of Elections
James M. Zak, Member of Knox County Board of Elections
Mike Zickar, Member of Wood County Board of Elections

 

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