Dear Governor DeWine, Secretary of State LaRose, President Obhof and Speaker Householder:
On behalf of the members of our organizations, we write to express concern about the proposed new date for the 2020 primary. We certainly understand the pressing health and safety concerns that led to the decision to delay the election. Protecting the health of Ohioans is of paramount importance. However, setting a primary date as late as June 2nd presents potentially serious problems for school districts. Many school districts had levies on the anticipated March 17th primary. The results of these levies will have an impact on staffing decisions for the next school year.
Current law has a June 1st deadline for notifying staff of the school board’s intent to non-renew a contract. Having election results prior to this date is critical to allowing affected districts to plan their budgets and in making decisions about staffing. If the primary election is not held prior to June 1, steps should be taken to move this statutory deadline for the current year.
Setting a date for the primary election prior to June 2nd would provide more timely election results. Whatever date is set for the primary, we recommend allowing sufficient time for official results to be tallied before districts need to make budget and staffing decisions based on levy results. We also encourage that every effort should be made to push absentee voting as the preferred option. Holding the remainder of the election exclusively as vote by mail should also be considered. This would allow Ohioans to exercise their Constitutional right to vote in the safest manner available.
Thank you for your consideration of this important issue. As you consider this and other vital issues our organizations stand ready to discuss alternatives that benefit Ohio’s students and our members while protecting the health and safety of all citizens.
Scott DiMauro, President, Ohio Education Association
Melissa Cropper, President, Ohio Federation of Teachers
The Ohio Education Association represents 122,000 teachers, faculty members and support professionals in Ohio’s public schools, colleges and universities.