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Government and Politics

With few races, many Ohio voters sit this primary out
Despite big statewide decisions, turnout rests largely with the most local of politics

Web Editor
M.L. Schultze
Many polling places reported voting was sporadic and slow.
Courtesy of M.L. SCHULTZE
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In The Region:

Boards of elections throughout Northeast Ohio were reporting very light turnout for today’s primary election. And, as WKSU’s M.L. Schultze reports, many are predicting fewer than one-in-five registered voters will end up casting ballots.

LISTEN: Light turnout so far

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In all, Ohio voters are picking the candidates for November for seven statewide offices – including governor and two Ohio Supreme Court seats. They’re also picking candidates for all 16 congressional districts, for the entire Ohio House and for half of the state Senate. And they’re voting on a state constitutional amendment that’s worth nearly $2 billion. 

But incumbents in many of the primary races have no opponents, and voters found the amendment a bit confusing.

Brad Cromes, deputy director of the Portage County Board of Elections, says turnout in elections like these often rests with very local issues. 

“Like in Field local Schools for example, we’ve been hearing some reports of fairly heavy turnout. In other areas, its’ been a little more sparse. It just sort of depends on what’s been on the ballot locally.” 

Cuyahoga County was expecting a higher turnout because a tax on alcohol and cigarettes is up for a 20-year renewal. But early absentee balloting – often a measure of total turnout – was less than expected. 

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