Special election is Aug. 2 due to redistricting


A primary/special election will be held in Ohio on Tuesday, Aug. 2 to select Republican and Democratic candidates for seats in the state House and Senate, and representatives on the state Republican and Democratic parties’ central committees.

Ohio is holding a second primary election because of delays in the redistricting process to redraw state legislative lines to reflect recent population changes. There were no legally valid state legislative maps in Ohio during the last primary election in May because the Ohio Supreme Court rejected a number of maps drawn by Republicans as illegally contorted to favor their party.

A group of Republican voters sued to ask a federal judge to intercede in the dispute. A judge ordered that a panel of three federal judges will decide how to proceed. Chief Judge Algenon L. Marbley of the Southern District of Ohio appointed himself along with Amul R. Thapar, circuit judge of the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals, and Benjamin J. Beaton, district judge of the Western District of Kentucky.

The panel of federal judges in May ordered the Aug. 2 election, and decided to use one of the maps the Ohio Supreme Court had rejected.

“Technically, they haven’t settled all of it,” said Highland County Board of Elections Director David Tolliver. “What they ended up doing was putting in a request to use the third map that the redistricting commission voted on, but they are currently under litigation. With the timeline being compressed the way it was, in order to get the people elected before the terms are up, they ended up just using the third map.”

For the Ohio Senate in Highland County on the Republican side, Shane Wilkin of Hillsboro is running against Thomas Hwang of Waverly. Gary Boone of Hillsboro is unopposed in the primary in his bid for the Ohio Senate as a Democrat.

Bob Peterson of Washington C.H. is running unopposed in the primary for state representative. Bonnie Ward is running unopposed in the primary for Republican State Central Committee. Chase Brown and Dylan Page are running against each other in the contest for a male Democratic State Central Committee member. Stacy Brooks is the sole Democrat running for the female Democratic State Central Committee seat.

Precinct election officials are still needed for Election Day. Those interested in serving can call the Highland County Board of Elections at 937-393-9961 before July 22.

“We are trying to get as many people signed up as we can,” said Tolliver. “For our Youth at the Booth program, 17-year-olds who are high school seniors are allowed to be used at the booth, but since it’s summertime for this weird election, they are allowing anyone who is 17 and going to be a senior next year to be election workers as well.”

Tolliver said because of the unusual nature of the election and that there will be no federal or statewide races, a low turnout has been predicted. “I anticipate a very low turnout, but we are urging everyone we can to come out and vote for this weird election,” he said. “I know a lot of people don’t really realize it’s even going on.”

Reach John Hackley at 937-402-2571.

Hillsboro’s Boone, Wilkin will be on the ballot

By John Hackley

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