ELECTION DAY: Polls close after light voter turnout and few problems reported

Tauheedah Uqdah signs in to vote at the Washington Township RecPlex Tuesday Nov. 2, 2021. MARSHALL GORBY\STAFF
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Tauheedah Uqdah signs in to vote at the Washington Township RecPlex Tuesday Nov. 2, 2021. MARSHALL GORBY\STAFF

The polls closed at 7:30 p.m. in Ohio for the general election.

Election Day appeared to be running smoothly Tuesday, with no major issues reported, according to election officials in Montgomery, Miami, Warren and Greene counties.

We will have live results throughout the night from local elections board.

ExploreLIVE RESULTS: Continuous updates for local races, issues

Here is a look at what happened at local polling places through the day.

‘I always come and vote’

More than 400 people had cast ballots at Grace United Methodist Church in Dayton as of 6 p.m., with more continuing to trickle in.

This included Carol Johnson, who said her predecessors fought and struggled for the right to vote, so she makes it a priority.

“I’m standing on their shoulder,” she said. “It’s the only way we can have our say. I always come and vote.”

ExplorePHOTOS: Ohioans go to the polls: Election Day 2021

City commission candidates and their supporters stood the required distance from the polling place handing out literature. Dayton has a competitive race for mayor and city commission.

Voter Wayne Mills said he was in and out in less than 10 minutes.

“It should’ve been a longer wait because there should have been more people,” he said. “The people who are running for office can make decisions for the city and, hopefully, they’ll make good ones. So it’s important.”

Voting was slow and steady around noon at the Northwest Recreational Center on Princeton Dr. in Dayton. Jim Noelker/Staff
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Voting was slow and steady around noon at the Northwest Recreational Center on Princeton Dr. in Dayton. Jim Noelker/Staff

Short lines, few issues

Voting has reportedly been steady and uninterrupted throughout Montgomery County, with short lines and no major issues reported.

“It’s been pretty steady throughout the day,” said Peggy Weller, poll supervisor at Centerville High School, which housed three precincts and saw 15% turnout by 3:30 p.m.

Christy Spaulding said she and many of her neighbors came out to the high school to vote today because the election will help decide the future of Centerville schools and downtown Centerville. She was pleased with how quick and easy it was to cast her ballot.

“There was not a very long wait,” she said.

Power outage can’t stop voting

A Washington Twp. polling location was able to stay open this morning despite a power outage in the area due to battery back ups.

Ballots were still able to be processed at the Washington Township Recreation Center during the outage, said Jeff Rezabek, Montgomery County Board of Elections director. The board was in contact with AES Ohio, law enforcement and emergency management during the outage.

ExploreREAD OUR DAYTON DAILY NEWS VOTER GUIDE

The outage started around 7 a.m., said Jennifer Hinch, polling location supervisor for Washington Twp. Recreation Center.

“We did not have any issues and continued to process voters,” she said. “Washington Twp. came through and provided us with generators and brought us all back up to power.”

Poll workers used flashlights to help guide voters until the lights were back on.

“Nothing slowed us down,” Hinch said.

Poll workers also informed voters they could vote during the outage, or come back later to cast their ballot, said Rezabek.

Masks offered, but not required

While masks are being offered at polling locations, they are not required to vote, said Montgomery County Board of Elections Deputy Director Sarah Greathouse.

All poll workers are asked to wear a mask while interacting with voters and while within 6 feet of others.

Dayton has a mask mandate in place, but voters who are not wearing a mask will still be able to vote, Rezabek said.

Slow turnout reported

It was also a smooth start in Warren County on Election. Warren County Board of Elections Director Brian Sleeth said there haven’t been any issues reported at the polls and that about 14,000 people have cast their ballot so far, accounting for 8% of registered voters. Around 14% of voters have voted when including absentee ballots in the count.

Miami County is also seeing a lower voter turnout, but about what was expected, said Miami County Board of Elections Director Laura Bruns.

Voter turnout is ranging from 2 to 9% as 11 a.m., she said.

Multiple people have called regarding campaign signs outside of polling places, but all the signs the board of elections have checked were at least 100 feet from the polling place, Bruns said.

Greene County Board of Elections Deputy Director Llyn McCoy said polls had been quiet so far.

In Antioch, some campaigners had to be reminded to stand at least 100 feet away from the polling place, but no major issues have been reported so far, McCoy said.

Victoria Mohr, looks over her ballot while early voting Thursday, Oct. 28, 2021 at the Board of Elections. MARSHALL GORBY\STAFF
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Victoria Mohr, looks over her ballot while early voting Thursday, Oct. 28, 2021 at the Board of Elections. MARSHALL GORBY\STAFF

Polls will remain open for the general election in Ohio until 7:30 p.m.

While there’s no presidential race or governor battle on the ballot in Ohio, the races to be decided will affect local communities directly, in several ways.

Here are five things to know about today’s vote:

1. It’s your community

Today, voters will elect the mayors, city council members and township trustees who decide things like how many police officers to hire in your community and when to pave the streets.

Residents will pick the school boards that choose your district’s superintendent and guide tough decisions like the past two years’ COVID protocols.

And many communities will vote on tax levies that affect both the level of services provided in the community, as well as the property tax or income tax bill that residents pay.

2. When, where, how

Polls are open on Election Day from 6:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. Tuesday is projected to be dry, with temperatures rising from morning 30s to afternoon 40s.

To find your voting location and see your sample ballot, go to the Ohio Secretary of State’s “View Your Sample Ballot” web page, click on your county and type in your name.

Lots of residents took advantage of early voting at the Montgomery County Board of Elections Thursday Oct. 28, 2021. MARSHALL GORBY\STAFF
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Lots of residents took advantage of early voting at the Montgomery County Board of Elections Thursday Oct. 28, 2021. MARSHALL GORBY\STAFF

Voters going to the polls must give their name and address and provide proof of identity. That can be an unexpired driver’s license, military ID or other government ID, or a recent utility bill, bank statement or paycheck showing the voter’s name and address.

3. High-profile races

Dayton voters will choose a new mayor to replace Nan Whaley, who is running for governor. The choices are city commissioner Jeff Mims, who said he wants to build on recent progress like the Arcade, expanded preschool access and job development around the airport; or retired fire district chief Rennes Bowers, who said the city is worse than it was in 2000. He wants to hire more police, saying the city is unsafe.

It’s an odd year for area school board races. Dayton, West Carrollton and Jefferson Twp. had so few candidates that at least one write-in candidate is guaranteed to be elected. But Springboro has eight candidates fighting for three school board seats, Bellbrook has eight candidates for four seats, and Centerville’s race has been so tense that police have been monitoring board meetings.

4. Tax levies

Voters will decide more than 50 different tax levies at the ballot. A few of them are countywide, but most are specific to a single city, township or school district.

All Greene County voters will cast votes on whether to raise the sales tax to fund construction of a new jail. All Montgomery County voters will weigh in on whether to continue a tax for human services funding.

Among individual communities, Riverside is seeking an income tax increase to pay for police, fire and EMS services, and Yellow Springs is seeking a combination tax to pay for new school buildings.

5. Voter turnout

Turnout for odd-year elections is usually fairly low. In November 2019, turnout was 20.8% in Montgomery County, 22.9% in Greene County, 23.2% in Miami County, and 25.5% in Warren County.

ExploreWHAT TO KNOW ON ELECTION DAY

Some individual communities with tax levies or prominent races on the ballot saw as much as 40% turnout.

Montgomery County election officials said as of Monday morning, 9,083 county residents had voted — either in-person, or by sending in their mail absentee ballot — out of 370,000 registered voters.

** If you see problems at the polls Tuesday, tell the Dayton Daily News at 937-610-7502 or ddnnews@coxinc.com.


YOUR SOURCE FOR TODAY’S ELECTION

No other local media provides the in-depth coverage you need to cast your ballot in today’s election.

VOTERS GUIDE

Go to DaytonDailyNews.com/Elections to learn about candidates in every contested race in the region, as well as read stories about the issues on the ballot and how to vote.

VOTING HOURS

Polls are open from 6:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. at your polling place.

LIVE RESULTS

Get up-to-the-minute results on Election Night at DaytonDailyNews.com.

SPECIAL EPAPER FOR SUBSCRIBERS

After the results are counted, look for a special edition of your epaper with stories and results.

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