West Chester Trustee and Lady Liberty.​

Mar 09 2016

Issues with the Ohio Primary Ballot

When you go to vote on the Ohio primary ballot March 15th you might be a bit confused.  You will be asked to vote for your choice for President and your choice for the 8th District Congressman twice on the same ballot.

The Congressional vote is a bit easier to explain.   We vote once for the Republican we would like to fill the seat Speaker Boehner vacated – we have to vote for that again in a June special election.  The second vote is the regular Republican Primary to determine which Republican will be on the November ballot. Usually you would vote for the same person in both cases – but that is up to you.

The second ballot issue is the Presidential primary.  Last year, the Republicans in the Ohio House rushed through a bill that moved our primary back one week.  We are usually on the first big Super Tuesday.  The Republicans moved the election back so that we could become a ‘winner take all’ state. It was said by many that the move was done give Governor Kasich an advantage in the Presidential election.  The problem occurred in the language of the bill.  It did move the election back one week.  But it left the old language, the proportional delegate language on the ballot.  The Ohio GOP messed up.  Here is a great video that will explain the situation. Overall, I would vote for the same candidate twice, to make sure your voice gets heard.

Secretary of State John Husted addressed this issue this week directly.

“How you get on the ballot is set by state law; how delegates are awarded is based on the bylaws of the Republican Party. First off, we are not nominating a person for president, we are voting to elect delegates that have pledged to vote for a particular candidate for president at the convention in Cleveland.”

“Second, the Republican primary ballot appears the way that it has always appeared. This is set by state law. State law provides the rules for how a candidate can get their slate of delegates on the ballot and how the ballot is laid out. The only thing that has changed is how the Republican Party decided to award its delegates in 2016.”

“Traditionally, Ohio Republicans have awarded at-large delegates and awarded district delegates. So there were two contests on the ballot. In late 2015, The Republican Party decided to change how it awards delegates in Ohio to a winner takes all process. The Republican Party chairman has clarified that the rules for awarding delegates will be based on the winner of the at-large delegate contest. Both contests will be counted. But the awarding of delegates is based solely on the first question. Essentially we are required by law to have both contests, but the awarding of delegates under Republican Party rules is based in the first question.”

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