Will Ohio voters have to vote for congressional races again after the May 3 primary?

Published: May. 3, 2022 at 11:08 AM EDT

WASHINGTON (Gray DC) - A loss in population in the 2020 Census caused Ohio to lose a seat in Congress shrinking its congressional map from 16 to 15 districts.

Political experts say the process to redraw the district map may end up causing voters to return to the polls later this year to recast their ballots.

“Well the truth is the Ohio primaries, I’ll talk about them in plural, are a mess,” said Dr. Paul Beck, Professor Emeritus of The Ohio State University.

Beck said legal challenges to the congressional district map drawn by the Ohio Redistricting Commission may lead to the Ohio State Supreme Court tossing it out.

If that happens, he said when Ohioans go back to vote in a potential August primary for the state legislature, they may have to recast their ballot for congressional races.

Jen Miller, the executive director of the League of Women Voters of Ohio, said it’s unlikely the map will be thrown out.

The League is suing over claims of gerrymandering, but justices won’t hear arguments until after the May 3 primary.

“Once we file our evidence and have our witnesses and depositions all of these things, it’s unlikely but possible the congressional map could be struck down and changed in time for the November general election,” said Miller.

With the timeline for filing paperwork, Miller believes the new congressional district map will stay in place.

Despite the legal challenges over the congressional map, Miller said it’s important for voters to still cast their ballots in the May 3 primary because they likely won’t get a second chance.

The Washington News Bureau did reach out to the Ohio Redistricting Commission for this report, but did not hear back before deadline.

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