SIDNEY — Three petitions for the Ohio House of Representative 85th District seat were certified by the Shelby County Board of Elections regular meeting held Monday, March 14.
The petitions certified were filed by Republicans Tim Barhorst, Fort Loramie, Lilli Johnson Vitale, Urbana, and Rochiel Foulk, Urbana.
While county petitions were certified at the Feb. 14 Board of Elections meeting, the petitions filed for the Ohio House of Represenative ballot were held until the March meeting due to the pending redistricting of Ohio. According to Board of Elections Director Pam Kerrigan, the board was instructed not to certify the state petitions at the February meeting.
“The only petitions we have not approved are those that are pending subject to redistricting efforts,” Board Chairman James Kerg said.
The deadline to certify petitions for the Ohio House of Representatives was 4 p.m. Monday, March 14.
If the finalized redistricting map changes the boundaries of the district in which a candidate resides, the board will have to reconvene in a special meeting to re-certify petitions for the May 3, 2022 primary election.
“We should certify what we can certify. The problem is, they could turn it upside down and we’d have to come back. If they change things again, depending on where the lines are drawn, we may need to come in and re-certify,” Kerg said.
Also approved during Monday’s meeting was a ballot order for the May 3 primary election. For the primary, three separate ballot styles for each major political party must be provided; the ballots provided for the May primary will consist of the Democratic ballot, the Republican ballot and an issues-only ballot, and will be organized by precinct split.
The ballots are based on a projected 35% voter turnout; previously, the May 2018 primary saw a 24.21% turnout of registered voters within Shelby County.
Kerg asked how the board would be able to order ballots when the redistricting map has not been approved yet; according to Deputy Director Collin Claywell, the Board of Elections doesn’t plan on submitting anything for print until they know what will be on the ballot. Election Systems & Software is working with the Shelby County Board of Elections on their dates for submitting petitions.
In conjunction with the ballot order, the board unanimously approved a grant funding agreement provided by the Ohio Secretary of State’s office to assist with additional funding incurred due to the delay in redistricting.
The total additional funding totals $64,735 and can be used for eligible expenses for things such as administrative costs, vendor expenses, production increases, and additonal pre-approved purposes.
“We’re going to have additional costs getting our ballots prepared in such a short timeframe, that’s just one of the costs. Our vendors for our ballot on demand, both of those ballots — again, that’s going to be a short time frame, and we’re probably going to have to be in contact or in meetings with them more than the routine usual elections, so that’s going to cost us more money through no fault of this office or theirs,” Kerrigan said.
According to the agreement, any leftover funds would need to be returned by Aug. 5, 2022. Claywell said that it’s likely that most, if not all of the money, will be spent to cover additional expenses and other necessities.
The next meeting of the Shelby County Board of Elections will be held Monday, April 11, at 10 a.m.
Reach the writer at 937-538-4825