Election Day: ‘Smooth sailing’ at the polls with low turnout in region

Turnout was low at many polling places across the Dayton region on Tuesday as voters decided a number of school and community tax issues, charter amendments, and narrowed some mayor and city council races, according to local elections officials.

“We are going to have low turnout. Although we’d like it to be higher, we appreciate all the voters who came out in early voting and today,” said Jeff Rezabek, director of the Montgomery County Board of Elections.

He and officials at other area boards of election reported no major problems.

“It’s been smooth sailing today,” said Ian Ridgeway, deputy director of the Miami County Board of Elections. “It’s been pretty steady. Some locations are busier than others.”

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In Greene County things were quiet in Fairborn but busy in Beavercreek and the Bellbrook-Sugarcreek Twp. school district precincts, said Llyn McCoy, director of that county’s board of elections.

“I don’t think they are having a lot of down time at the polls,” she said.

At University Baptist Church in Beavercreek poll workers said they had a steady flow of voters all morning, and by 11 a.m., nearly 550 people had voted there.

At Holy Family Catholic Church in Dayton, about 50 people had stopped by to vote as of 10:15 a.m., poll workers said.

Poll workers at the Dayton Metro Library Southeast Branch reported just over a dozen people had cast a ballot at the polling place as of 9 a.m.

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Absentee voting in the run up to Election Day was also low. Greene County had the largest number of people in the four county region voting early or by mail, with a total of 5,915 absentee and early voters casting ballots, McCoy said.

“There’s been a lot of interest particularly in Beavercreek and Bellbrook with their school issues on the ballot,” McCoy said.

In Montgomery County, 830 people voted early in person and 936 voted absentee by mail, Rezabek said.

In Warren County 661 people voted in the board office and 805 cast absentee ballots by mail, said Brian Sleeth, board director.

Miami County had 895 people cast ballots in early voting and 263 vote absentee by mail, Ridgeway said.

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New electronic poll books from Tenex Software Solutions include a secure internet connection with the board office so Sleeth is able to provide up-to-the minute tallies of voter turnout. As of 5 p.m. on Tuesday, 4,020 people had voted. The technology will allow the board to roll out wait-time alerts for voters at polling places in November, he said.

COVID-19 safety protocols were in place at voting sites across the Dayton region. Polls close today at 7:30 p.m.

Anyone who experiences any issues voting can report them to the Dayton Daily News by calling 937-610-7502 or emailing ddnnews@coxinc.com.

Staff photographer Marshall Gorby contributed to this report.

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