Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Headline Writers Need to Be Stopped

Earlier FHQ linked to an article from the Columbus Dispatch that correctly identified the news in its article on the possibility of a later 2012 presidential primary in Ohio. In fact, the headline was good enough in our opinion to repeat here.

That story has since been picked up in part by the Associated Press and has morphed from the incoming secretary of state pointing out a potential timing issue between the redistricting process and the presidential primary into said secretary of state contemplating moving the presidential primary himself.


I'm no expert -- well, I suppose I am -- but the last time I checked, in Ohio, as in many other states, the state legislature is responsible for moving the date on which the state's primary is held. And that move has to be signed off on by the governor, not the secretary of state. New Hampshire is the only state where the secretary of state plays a direct role in the scheduling of presidential primaries. The state legislature in the Granite state ceded that power in 1976 in an effort to assure the state maximum flexibility in maintaining its first in the nation primary. Now this isn't to suggest that secretaries of state, under which typically resides a state board of elections, has no role to play in this process. However, that role is rarely anything other than an advisory role. And that seems to be the case in Ohio. The state legislature will be the entity to act on this if it cannot quickly draw the congressional district lines. [Let's keep in mind that Ohio is now under unified Republican control following the 2010 elections.]

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