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NEWS: Ohio Primary Election is Underway


Military ballots shipped for Ohio’s Aug. 2 primary election for state legislative races despite lingering legal challenges

COLUMBUS, Ohio -- Elections workers in Ohio have begun mailing absentee ballots to military members and other overseas voters for the state’s upcoming Aug. 2 special primary election.

Secretary of State Frank LaRose announced the ballots had gone out Friday for the election, which will decide Republican and Democratic nominees for state legislative races, as well as central committee members for the state Republican and Democratic parties.

The move comes even as the Ohio Supreme Court considers a case from would-be Republican and Democratic legislative candidates trying to force their way onto the ballot by challenging the Feb. 2 candidate filing deadline LaRose and other state Republicans set for the election.

The mailing of the ballots, sent per a deadline set in federal law, significantly reduces the chances that the Ohio Supreme Court will intervene since doing so would require the court to effectively halt and restart an election that already has started. Unless the court intervenes, it also likely means Democrats will fail to field candidates in a handful of state legislative districts, most notably in a heavily Democratic 24th state senate district in the Columbus area, while Republicans will fail to field a candidate in the Democratic-leaning 15th House district in southwestern Cuyahoga County.

A federal judge cited the pending election and its related deadlines earlier this week when he rejected a similar case filed in federal court.

The deadline for voters to register to vote for the Aug. 2 special primary election is July 5. Early voting begins on July 6.

“A primary election in August is unusual and certainly unexpected this year, but it’s no less important,” LaRose said in a statement. “I encourage the friends and family of Ohioans who are serving or working abroad to remind them to visit because it’s time for them to cast a ballot.”

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