Ohio ready for voters to hit the polls

MARIETTA – Polls are open bright and early this morning, as the May primary gets under way, but the Washington County Board of Elections is expecting a lower turnout than the 2010 primary.

Director Tara Hupp said numbers for absentee voting were down from previous primaries.

“The grand total requested and total number of ballots sent was 1,053,” Hupp said. “We received 929 back…That number is down; it was a little over 1,500 in 2010.”

Last year there was no May primary because not enough candidates filed to create a race. In 2012 Super Tuesday saw about 1,873 absentee voters and 2011 saw 3,023 ballots cast for a municipal primary. The exact numbers for 2010’s primary were 1,575 absentee voters.

Hupp said today likely won’t be a mad dash to the polls, but it might be busy at certain times.

“There are certain times throughout the day (we get busy),” she said. “First thing in the morning, at lunch time and later in the evening, after work. Based on absentee numbers being down from four years ago, we don’t expect it to be, unfortunately, a lot of people voting. But there are certain times during the day we see more people voting.”

Hupp said Monday was a flurry of activity, delivering equipment to the precincts across the county and helping voting location managers get their materials for today’s ballot casting.

Voting opens today at 6:30 a.m. and closes at 7:30 p.m. If there are questions about finding the proper precinct or other voting-related questions, the Board of Elections can answer voting questions either by phone or on its website.

Hupp said there are certain things to remember about this primary election: there are five ballots available and party affiliations may be picked up, so voters should make their ballot decision carefully.

Napoli’s in Belpre is seeking a liquor license in the primary election.

The two school levies up for renewal in Belpre and Warren have been getting some attention.

Belpre School Superintendent Tony Dunn said the levy is a renewal, so there will be no additional taxes.

“This is a renewal; the original passed in 2000,” he said. “It generates $825,000 for us. It isn’t new taxes; it isn’t new money so it will not raise anyone’s taxes.”

Warren Superintendent Kyle Newton said the levy in Warren is also a renewal levy.

“It’s no different from the renewal that’s passed three times,” he said. “We felt pretty confident the voters understood (what it’s about).”

Newton said the levy passed by two-thirds last election and he’s hoping it will pass again this time around.

In preparation for today’s election, Republican Washington County Commissioner candidates Jeremy Barton and Rick Walters, both of Coal Run, did last-minute campaigning over the weekend.