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.”
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.
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.
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.
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.