Primary turnout light as area voters choose candidates, decide tax issues

Nicholas P. Clemens reads over the ballot before voting at the Central Christian Church on Forrer Blvd. in Kettering, Tuesday, May 3, 2022. MARSHALL GORBY\STAFF

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Nicholas P. Clemens reads over the ballot before voting at the Central Christian Church on Forrer Blvd. in Kettering, Tuesday, May 3, 2022. MARSHALL GORBY\STAFF

Most voters were greeted with short lines and wet weather as they went to the polls Tuesday to decide who will be on the ballot in November for important races like Ohio governor and U.S. Senate, along with deciding local tax issues in Beavercreek and Trotwood.

The turnout was light. Officials predicted turnout of registered voters would be in the 15% to 18% range. But, voters interviewed at polling locations said they voted because they believe it’s important.

“It’s nice to vote, it only takes a minute. It’s just no problem,” said Nicholas P. Clemens, voting at a church in Kettering on Forrer Boulevard. “I don’t see why people don’t (vote). A lot of my friends said, ‘I’m not going to vote, it’s not going to matter.’ Well, it does.”

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Joy Hoover, voting at the Lofino Senior Center in Beavercreek, said voting for races like House and Senate is “fundamental.” She was frustrated by what she thought was a lack of effort to turn out the vote.

“No one knew the polls were open today, no one was encouraged to vote,” she said. “There’s no one who showed up at my door, no flyers, nothing. I didn’t get one, not even one. No candidates seemed to want to put out information, so I think a lot of people won’t show up because they didn’t know.”

Molly Campbell said she tried to vote at her polling place at the Washington Twp. Recreation Center but was turned away.

Campbell is 96-years-old and says her caretaker asked if she could vote curbside, but was told Campbell doesn’t have proper ID. Campbell said her driver’s license is expired because she stopped driving at age 93, and her bills are in her daughter’s name. Campbell is listed on voter rolls as a registered voter.

“They didn’t make an effort to come out and speak to me even,” she said. “I was very upset and I’m still angry about it.”

“Who else would want to be imitating a little old lady?”

Ohio law allows someone without valid ID to vote by provisional ballot if they provide the last four digits of their Social Security number. Provisional ballots are counted after their information is reviewed and verified at the board of elections.

After being contacted by the Dayton Daily News, the Montgomery County Board of Elections sent a bipartisan team of election workers to Campbell’s house with a provisional ballot and contacted the polling place to make sure workers followed the rules.

“We take this seriously,” said Sarah Greathouse, Montgomery County Board of Elections deputy director. “It may be one of 365,000 voters for us, but for every voter it’s 100% of their vote and we take that very seriously.”

In Troy, a power outage around 5:40 p.m. left the board of elections in the Miami County Courthouse dark for about an hour before generators were placed, Power did not go out at polling places in the city, said elections Director Laura Bruns.

The outage reportedly was caused by a blown transformer off South Union Street. Power was back on before 7 p.m. The Courthouse does not have a generator although one has been discussed by the elections board. The county Emergency Management Agency, IT Department and maintenance were called to help.

More Ohioans did request an absentee ballot and voted early compared to the 2018 primary election, according to Ohio Secretary of State Frank LaRose.

On Monday, he announced that 301,837 absentee ballots have been requested and 263,542 votes were cast already. In the 2018 primary election, Ohioans requested 300,765 absentee ballots and 260,443 voted early.

This year, more Republicans sought an absentee ballot or voted early than compared to Democrats.

“Republican voters have been casting their early votes at a far faster rate than four years ago, while Democrats have been significantly behind that pace,” said LaRose. “With that shift in favor of Republicans, overall early voting in this primary election has now surpassed the most comparable primary election in 2018. Political prognosticators are welcome to theorize its significance, but it’s clear Ohio voters have faith in our secure, accurate and accessible election system.”

Of the ballots requested this year, 158,813 were Republican, 138,066 were Democratic and 4,958 were non-partisan. Republicans led the way in early voting with 79,466 ballots cast, with 56,415 Democratic ballots and 1,847 non-partisan ballots cast.

Ohio had nearly 200 hours of early voting this election cycle.

Election results

Visit for all Tuesday night’s results:

** Vote totals on local and statewide races

** Details of which tax levies for cities and schools passed or failed

** Look for an extra E-Edition with the latest from the polls

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