Today is the deadline to register to vote

Early voting starts today for May election

Voters in the Dayton region will decide on more than 50 contested races and tax issues on the May 8 ballot, and you can start voting today.

Voters have the option of casting an absentee ballot either in-person or by mail. For more information on absentee voting, visit

On the ballot are races for governor, U.S. senator and state Issue 1, which would change the way Ohio draws congressional district lines. Many communities will also have primaries for Congress, state House and Senate and some county offices.

Here’s a look at some of the key races and issues on the ballot:

In the 1st District, which includes all of Warren County and most of Hamilton County, Rep. Steve Chabot has a primary challenge from Samuel Ronan.

In the 8th District, four Democrats are running in an effort to challenger Congressman Warren Davidson in November.

U.S. Rep. Jim Jordan has a primary challenge from Joseph Miller in the 4th District. Three Democrats — Janet Garrett, Leah Sellers and Cody James Slatzer-Rose — are running.

In the 73rd District, which includes most of western Greene County, state Rep. Rick Perales is running against Republican challenger Jocelyn Smith. Smith has accused Perales of fondling and choking her. Perales has admitted to having an inappropriate relationship with Smith, but denies her claims.

In the 39th District, which includes most of the city of Dayton, Rep. Fred Strahorn is running against Democratic challenger Walter Hickman.

In the 40th District, which includes Huber Heights, Vandalia, Englewood and parts of Dayton, Riverside, Union and Butler and Clay townships, Democrats Albert Griggs and Ryan Taylor are facing off for a chance to run against Montgomery County Sheriff Phil Plummer.

State Rep. Jeff Rezabek decided to run for a judge seat opening up his Statehouse seat. Republicans Kenneth Henning and Jeffrey Todd Smith are running in that primary in the 43rd District. The winner will take on Montgomery County Commissioner Dan Foley in November. The district includes Trotwood, part of Dayton, Clayton, Brookville, New Lebanon and Harrison, Jackson and Perry townships. The district also includes all of Preble County.

In Warren County, state Rep. Scott Lipps is running against Republican challenger Daniel Kroger in the 62nd House District. In Senate District 7, state Sen. Steve Wilson is facing Republican challenger Brad Lamoreaux.

In Miami and Darke counties, the wide-open Republican primary in the 80th House District has four candidates running: George Lovett, John O’Brien, Jena Powell, and JD Winteregg.

In Greene County, there are Democratic and Republican primaries for county commissioner. There’s also a Republican primary for clerk of courts.

In Warren County, County Commissioner Tom Grossman is facing a primary challenge from former state Rep. Ron Maag. No Democrat filed in that race.

Bellbrook, Union, Waynesville, Covington, Clay Twp., German Twp., Harrison Twp., Jefferson Twp., Perry Twp., Washington Twp., Wayne Twp., Brown Twp. have tax issues on the ballot for fire, police or other services.

The Columbus Dispatch contributed to this report.