COLUMBUS—State Senator Frank LaRose (R-Hudson) today introduced legislation to save taxpayers money by eliminating unnecessary primary elections.

Currently, Ohio law requires local boards of election to hold primary elections when two or more people file to run for an office, even if only one candidate remains on the ballot after the death, withdrawal or disqualification of the other candidates. Senate Bill 347 would change the law to trigger a primary election based on the number of candidates who are certified to appear on the ballot, not the number of candidates who file.

"Our county boards of elections work hard to stretch every taxpayer dollar as far as it will go to ensure efficient, fair elections," said LaRose. "Forcing them to hold uncontested primary elections is a clear waste of time and taxpayer resources. This commonsense, bipartisan bill would remove the unnecessary cost burden placed on local communities and improve efficiency in the administration of our elections."

Current Ohio law also requires that a special primary election be held to fill a vacancy when a party's nominee for Congress withdraws from the race or dies more than 90 days before the general election. Senate Bill 347 removes the requirement to hold a primary when only one candidate remains on the ballot and gives the Secretary of State authority to declare the sole remaining candidate as the party's nominee.

"Six counties will hold an uncontested election to nominate the Democratic challenger for Speaker Boehner's former seat next month," said LaRose. "Estimates suggest that the state of Ohio will be forced to spend approximately $500,000 in taxpayer money on this superfluous election. Secretary Husted called on the General Assembly to act to prevent this kind of wasteful spending in the future, and we're responding."

Senate Bill 347 will soon be referred to a Senate committee for further consideration.

 
 
 
  
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