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Week in Review: April 17, 2022

Written on Apr 15, 2022

CORONAVIRUS

The Ohio Department of Health reported 4,808 new COVID-19 cases for the April 8-14 period, up from 3,828 over April 1-7 and 3,103 in March 25-31. March was the first month in which ODH began reporting weekly numbers, and it had 18,861 total cases, down from 72,995 in February. ODH's weekly update Thursday also included 317 hospitalizations, 29 ICU admissions and 100 deaths. The Ohio Hospital Association reported 314 current patients with COVID-19 and 38 ICU patients on Thursday.

Since the pandemic began, ODH has reported 2.68 million cases, 114,443 hospitalizations, 13,426 ICU admissions and 38,266 deaths.

ELECTIONS 2022

Secretary of State Frank LaRose said Tuesday that 71,296 absentee ballots had been requested by mail or in-person and that 11,935 votes have been cast statewide with three weeks to go before the Tuesday, May 3 primary election. According to the secretary of state:

- 34,830 Democratic ballots have been requested, with 4,606 Democratic ballots cast early in-person and 5,672 returned in the mail and submitted for counting.

- 35,045 Republican ballots have been requested, with 5,181 Republican ballots cast early in-person and 6,058 returned in the mail and submitted for counting.

- 1,421 nonpartisan ballots have been requested, with 150 cast early in-person and 205 returned in the mail and submitted for counting.

Secretary of State Frank LaRose Wednesday released an update on poll worker recruitment for the May 3 primary election, with 31,433 Ohioans signed up to serve at a poll in the primary. The minimum number of poll workers needed statewide is 30,295, according to the secretary of state. Twenty-four counties have met the minimum number of poll workers needed.

REDISTRICTING/REAPPORTIONMENT

Continuing to criticize the process the Ohio Redistricting Commission has followed to send it four separate General Assembly redistricting plans, the Ohio Supreme Court Thursday struck down the latest plan by a vote of 4-3, saying it is little changed from a previously rejected plan. The Court set Friday, May 6, as the latest deadline for the commission to come up with an entirely new plan, with the plan due to the secretary of state by 9 a.m. on that date and to the Court by noon. Additionally, the Court's order allowed for the commission to request a time extension "for good cause shown. … In sum, the [fourth] plan has not materially changed from the invalidated [third] plan. The evidence supports the finding that the [fourth] plan violates Article XI, Section 6(A), just as we found with regard to the [third] plan in League III," the majority wrote.

Republicans that filed a federal lawsuit seeking to force implementation of a redistricting plan for General Assembly districts told the federal court in a brief that it does have the power to move Ohio's primary. The plaintiffs, represented by attorney Donald Brey, told the court that Ohio can't hold a general election for General Assembly seats without a primary election, and for that reason, their constitutional rights were violated when the primary for those seats was cancelled and not rescheduled. Brey said the Ohio Constitution still requires a primary.

UNEMPLOYMENT COMPENSATION

According to the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services, Ohioans filed 13,788 initial jobless claims from Sunday, April 3, through Saturday, April 9 -- 3,874 fewer than the previous week. Ohioans filed 50,520 continued traditional unemployment claims over the same period, which ODJFS said is 3,202 more than the previous week. The total number of traditional claims filed from April 3-9 was 64,308. The number of initial claims is down after two weeks of increases. Last week, ODJFS reported 17,662 jobless claims; 16,156 initial jobless claims were reported the week before that. ODJFS reported 47,318 continued jobless claims last week.

This feature was provided by Hannah News Service and selected for you by OSCPA Government Relations staff.