CLEVELAND — In response to the Ohio Supreme Court’s rejection of the third proposed state map due to partisan gerrymandering, All Voting is Local Ohio State Director Kayla Griffin released the following statement:
“As there are no solidified maps at this time, elections officials are facing uncertainty while preparing for the upcoming primary, which is leaving voters in limbo. We are urging Senate President Matt Huffman and the Ohio Senate to allow elections officials and community groups to collaborate on voter education by repealing the collaboration ban immediately. Election officials and nongovernmental entities must not be held back from working together to mitigate the impact upon voters brought on due to the delay in finalizing congressional and state maps.
“Voters all across the state could face last-minute poll consolidations, changes, and/or closures. As districts change, they will have little, if any, time to figure out what candidates are on the ballot. Our leaders and elections officials must allow for an all-hands-on-deck approach for accurate and fair preparation. This will be possible only if elections officials and community groups — including faith, service, and civic groups — are allowed to work together toward educating voters on last-minute changes and keeping voters up to date on information they may need to ensure they can accurately and fairly cast their ballot.”
Background: At the moment, state and local officials are preparing for a May 3 primary. On its face, Revised Code § 3501.054, known as the collaboration ban, purports to bar any public official responsible for administering or conducting an election from collaborating with any nongovernmental entity on activities related to voter registration, education, poll worker recruitment, or similar election-related activities.