A low voter turnout is expected today, but there are some important ballot issues to decide.
Partisan Ohio voters will select which candidates will be their party’s nominees for the Ohio House and Senate races. And some Ohio voters will decide on local tax issues or local options.
“We expect voter turnout to be low because this election is unusual in Ohio and some voters may not be expecting it,” he said. “We think turnout will probably be in the single digits (percentage-wise),” Butler County Board of Elections Deputy Director Eric Corbin told the Journal-News last month.
Tuesday’s special primary is due to the inability of the Republican-controlled General Assembly to come up with a timely and equitable redistricting map that did not gerrymander districts, according to court rulings. The Ohio Redistricting Commission was charged with creating fair Ohio House and Senate district maps, as well as congressional maps. Courts ruled multiple times the commission’s attempts failed.
Because the maps had to be recreated multiple times, this special primary had to be conducted, which for Butler County alone is costing an estimated $335,000, Corbin said. The Ohio Legislature has appropriated funds for each county to assist with the cost of the election.
“For this election, we want to emphasize to voters that it is still a primary election and only the candidates for the party selected will be on your ballot,” Corbin said. “Both parties will be able to vote on the issue races.”
Here is a look at what is on Tuesday’s ballots in the county:
NEW DISTRICT REPRESENTATION: HOUSE RACES
Butler County is represented by four House districts that have new district numbers and boundaries.
The 45th House District race includes Rep. Jennifer Gross, R-West Chester Twp., who is seeking re-election and is uncontested. She will again face Chuck Horn, a West Chester Twp. Democrat who ran for the Statehouse two years ago, in November. Horn is also uncontested.
The district Gross is seeking to represent includes Fairfield and no longer includes Liberty Twp. That will now be part of the 46th Ohio House District, which Rep. Thomas Hall, R-Madison Twp., is running to serve. He is up against Matt King, of Middletown, in the Republican primary.
Lawrence Mulligan Jr., the son of the former Middletown mayor for whom he’s named, is uncontested in the Democratic primary.
In the 47th House District, Cody Harper of Hanover Twp. and Rep. Sarah Carruthers, of Hamilton, are battling on Tuesday’s GOP ballot. The nominee will face Sam Lawrence, of Oxford, who is an uncontested Democrat.
MILFORD TWP., WAYNE TWP. AND TRENTON DECIDE SENATE RACE
Voters in Milford and Wayne townships, and Trenton, won’t see any of those names on the ballot. Instead, redistricting moved what is now the 40th Ohio House District into Butler County. Republican voters in these communities will see Rep. Randy Creech’s name, and Democratic voters will see candidate Amy Cox’s name.
Since both candidates are uncontested, they’ll face off in November.
These three communities will also be the only Butler County residents to decide on a state Senate race. Technically, the Republican voters will see just one name for the 5th Ohio Senate race as Sen. Stephen Huffman is uncontested. There is no Democratic candidate for the 5th Ohio Senate.
The remainder of Butler County is represented by the 4th Ohio Senate District, which is represented by Sen. George Lang, R-West Chester Twp., who was elected two years ago and is up for re-election in 2024.
There are other races on the ballot due to the delays in the Ohio House and Senate district maps. In addition to House and Senate races, there will also be candidates for the State Central Committee for each party. There will also be two issues.
Hanover Reserve is requesting a local option to sell alcohol on Sundays. Then there’s the Ross Twp. School levy.
ROSS SCHOOLS 7.99 MILL LEVY
Residents in the Ross Local School district will see a proposed tax hike on the August ballot. School officials said this five-year, 7.99-mill emergency property tax levy will help the school system avoid a potential state-mandated fiscal emergency in the wake of budget shortfall projections for the coming years.
The 2,800-student, largely rural school system has received less state funding in the June 2021 Ohio biennium budget than it had in recent years.
If approved, it would raise the property tax of an owner of a $100,000 home by $279.65 a year. The last time voters approved a local property tax for the Ross schools was in 1999.
Staff reporter Michael D. Clark contributed to this story.
Hours: 6:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. today, polls open throughout Ohio
Locations: Listed online at elections.bcohio.gov
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