House Democratic lawmakers from across Ohio today sent a letter to Ohio Secretary of State Frank LaRose seeking information from his office about the impact of moving the 2020 presidential primary from March 10 to March 17, St. Patrick’s Day. See the letter below.


Dear Secretary LaRose,


Unfortunately, Ohio has missed its constitutional deadline to pass a two-year state budget. The only silver lining of this situation is that the legislature has an additional short time to reconsider and remove a last-minute provision in the budget bill: the movement of the 2020 presidential primary election to March 17, St. Patrick’s Day. We urgently need information from your office about the impacts of this rushed and possibly reckless change.


St. Patrick’s Day is a huge day of celebration in our districts and we are very concerned about the effect this will have on people’s ability to vote that day. Our families, friends and neighbors will be celebrating starting with breakfast, a parade, luncheons and events throughout the day.


People who otherwise would have been poll workers may have an annual commitment to help with St. Patrick’s Day festivities. Buildings that otherwise would have served as polling locations may have events planned for the holiday instead.


Secretary LaRose, we respectfully request that your office provide the legislature with the following information:



  1. Was your office consulted before this change was made to the budget bill?

  2. How many polling places in the state will be unavailable for use if the primary is moved to St. Patrick’s Day?

  3. How many Ohioans will have to reconsider being a poll worker because of their other community commitments on St. Patrick’s Day?

  4. How many polling places will be difficult or impossible to reach because of road closures?

  5. How many parking spaces will be lost to St. Patrick’s Day events, making it harder for voters to access the polls?

  6. How will road closures and preparations in the days leading up to St. Patrick’s Day parades and events affect early voting and access to voting locations?


We know our constituents want to do their civic duty and vote, but they should not be forced to sacrifice their traditions with friends and family because of an ill-conceived change to the election calendar. Nor should those who don't celebrate be blocked from their polling places by festivities that may close roads and polling places.


Thank you for your time and consideration. We look forward to receiving the information from your office that will allow us as lawmakers to make an informed decision.


Sincerely,


State Rep. Bride Rose Sweeney


State Rep. Stephanie Howse


State Rep. Kent Smith


State Rep. Janine Boyd


State Rep. Phillip M. Robinson, Jr.


State Rep. Michael Skindell


State Rep. Juanita Brent


State Rep. Jeffrey A. Crossman


State Rep. Terrence Upchurch


State Rep. John Rogers


State Rep. Jessica E. Miranda


State Rep. Gil Blair


State Rep. Sedrick Denson


State Rep. Michele Lepore-Hagan


State Rep. Joseph A. Miller, III


State Rep. Lisa Sobecki


State Rep. Michael O’Brien


State Rep. John Patterson


State Rep. Kristin Boggs


State Rep. Mary Lightbody


State Rep. Casey Weinstein


State Rep. Emilia Strong Sykes


State Rep. Allison Russo


State Rep. Beth Liston

 
 
 
  
Featured Posts

House Dems Urge President Trump To Approve Ohio's Request For Federal Aid To Fight Coronavirus

 

Ohio House Democratic Leader Emilia Strong Sykes (D-Akron) today sent a letter to President Trump on behalf of the Ohio House Democrats urging him to approve Ohio’s Major Disaster Declaration request, which would deploy Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) funds to aid the state’s response to the coronavirus outbreak. 



 
 

House Democrats Announce $15M In Federal Funds To Fight COVID-19 In Ohio

 

House Democratic lawmakers today announced the approval of $15.6M in federal funds for the Ohio Department of Health (ODH) to support local health departments, increase testing capacity, create public education campaigns, and support other costs associated with the state’s response to the COVID-19 coronavirus outbreak.



 
 

Leader Sykes Outlines Vote By Mail Proposal As State Continues To Battle COVD-19 Outbreak

 

House Democratic Leader Emilia Strong Sykes (D-Akron) today detailed her caucus’ priorities as state lawmakers prepare to return to the Statehouse next week to determine the timeline and procedures by which voters will be able to cast their ballots in the Ohio primary, which was scheduled for March 17, but postponed due to the ongoing COVID-19 outbreak.



 
 

Sobecki Files Bill To Allow Public Bodies To Meet Remotely During States Of Emergency

 

State Rep. Lisa Sobecki (D-Toledo) today filed House Bill (HB) 557 to allow public bodies to meet and conduct business remotely during a state of emergency.