5 things Butler County voters should know as early voting is underway

Ohio voters will begin early voting on Wednesday, Feb. 19 for the March 17 primary election. Voter registration for the primary ends on Feb. 18, the day before early voting begins. MICHAEL D. PITMAN/FILE

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Ohio voters will begin early voting on Wednesday, Feb. 19 for the March 17 primary election. Voter registration for the primary ends on Feb. 18, the day before early voting begins. MICHAEL D. PITMAN/FILE

As Democrats choose who they want to run against President Donald Trump, Republican voters in Butler County will have their own decisions in this year’s primary election.

Early voting for the March 17 primary election begins Wednesday, and anyone who wants to vote in this primary must register by Tuesday.

Here are five things to know about the races in this year’s primary:

Democratic primary

As of now, there are eight active candidates seeking the Democratic nomination for president. But before the primary, there could be fewer candidates, as about two dozen primaries and caucuses happen between Feb. 22 and March 14, most of which happen on March 3, which is known as Super Tuesday.

Butler County Democratic Pary Chairman Brian Hester said there will be lower early voting turnout by Democrats until at least after the March 3 primaries, when more than 1,300 delegates will be decided.

“I think there will be some strategic voting, and that includes maybe waiting to vote,” Hester said.

After Super Tuesday, Hester believes there will be a spike in early voting in Ohio and Butler County.

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Early voting in the Buckeye State runs until the day before the election at all boards of elections. Election Day is March 17. The Butler County Board of Elections, pictured, is at 1802 Princeton Road, Hamilton. NICK GRAHAM/FILE

Early voting in the Buckeye State runs until the day before the election at all boards of elections. Election Day is March 17. The Butler County Board of Elections, pictured, is at 1802 Princeton Road, Hamilton. NICK GRAHAM/FILE

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Early voting in the Buckeye State runs until the day before the election at all boards of elections. Election Day is March 17. The Butler County Board of Elections, pictured, is at 1802 Princeton Road, Hamilton. NICK GRAHAM/FILE

Congress

Democrats and Republicans will choose their nominations for the 8th Congressional District. For the Democrats, two of the four who ran for the nomination two years ago will face off again. Vanessa Enoch, of West Chester Twp., was the party’s 2018 nominee. She will face Matt Guyette, of Greenville, who had a pair of unsuccessful Democratic nomination bids in 2014 and 2018.

Congressman Warren Davidson is being challenged by Edward Meer, of West Chester Twp., who ran against the Troy Republican, and more than a dozen others, in the 2016 regular and special primaries.

Ohio Statehouse

Democrat Kathy Wyenandt, of Liberty Twp., will face off with the winner of the GOP primary in Ohio’s 4th Senate District race.

West Chester Twp. Trustee Lee Wong and Ohio Reps. Candice Keller, R-Middletown, and George Lang, R-West Chester Twp., will vie for the Republican nomination for the senate seat. The incumbent, Ohio Sen. Bill Coley, R-Liberty Twp., cannot seek re-election due to term limits.

With Keller and Lang running, new representatives for the 53rd and 52nd Ohio House districts will be elected in November.

Michelle Novak, a member of the Middletown School Board, is the lone Democrat running for the 53rd Ohio House District and will face off in November against one of three Republicans: Madison Twp. Trustee Thomas Hall, Monroe School Board member Brett Guido or Diane Mullins, of Hanover Twp.

The 53rd District represents northern Butler County from Oxford and Hanover Twp. to Middletown.

Democrat Chuck Horn, of West Chester Twp., is also the lone Democrat in the race for the 52nd Ohio House District. In November, he’ll face either West Chester Twp. Trustee Mark Welch of retired Air Force officer Jennifer Gross, of West Chester Twp.

The 52nd District represents Fairfield, Liberty and West Chester townships, and the Butler County portion of Sharonville.

Ohio Rep. Sara Carruthers, R-Hamilton, is uncontested, both in the primary and the general election. She represents the 51st House District, which includes, among parts of other communities, Hamilton, Fairfield and Ross Twp.

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Early voting in Ohio runs until the day before the election in all counties. Election Day is March 17. The Butler County Board of Elections is at 1802 Princeton Road, Hamilton. (Photo by Jay LaPrete/Getty Images)

Early voting in Ohio runs until the day before the election in all counties. Election Day is March 17. The Butler County Board of Elections is at 1802 Princeton Road, Hamilton. (Photo by Jay LaPrete/Getty Images)

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Early voting in Ohio runs until the day before the election in all counties. Election Day is March 17. The Butler County Board of Elections is at 1802 Princeton Road, Hamilton. (Photo by Jay LaPrete/Getty Images)

Judicial races

There are only two contested judicial races Butler County voters will consider.

And both races — for Butler County probate judge and 12th District Court of Appeals — do not have a Democratic Party nominee, so whoever wins the primary will advance to an uncontested general election race.

Republicans Heather Cady and John Holcomb are seeking to succeed Judge Randy Rogers as probate judge.

Four Republicans are seeking to succeed Judge Robert Ringland on the 12th District Court of Appeals, which represents eight counties in southwest Ohio and the Miami Valley.

The candidates are: Mary Lynne Birck, of New Richmond, Matthew Byrne, of Maineville, State Sen. Bill Coley, of Liberty Twp., and Butler County Common Pleas Judge Noah Powers II, of Middletown.

Pocketbook issues

There are five Butler County tax issues on the ballot for March, but the biggest will be in Hamilton.

The city of Hamilton is asking voters to approve a 3.9-mill, 10-year roads levy. This will be an additional tax and raise $3.1 million a year. It will cost the owner of a $100,000 home $136.50 more in property taxes.

A group of citizens pushing its approval, and created fixourstreetshamilton.com, and say if the new tax isn't approved city officials would likely have to cut funding from other areas, including the police, fire, parks and health departments.

Other levies include:

• a 3.8-mill, five-year renewal levy for the Lemon Twp. Fire District;

• a new 3.5-mill continuous levy for the St. Clair Twp. Fire District 1;

• a 0.75-mill, five-year renewal levy for the MidPointe Library System; and

• a 5.63-mill, five-year substitution levy for Edgewood City School District.

There are three overlapping districts from neighboring counties some voters will decide, including a new aggregate levy for Mason City Schools, and a pair of new taxes for Preble Shawnee Local Schools. One is a new 3.75-mill, 25-year bond and levy, and the other is a five-year 0.75 percent income tax.


WHAT TO KNOW BEFORE YOU VOTE

• Voter registration ends on Feb. 18, and you can register online at MyOhioVote.com or at the Butler County Board of Elections, 1802 Princeton Road, Hamilton. You can also update your voter registration information online or at the elections office.

• Early voting is at the board of elections office. The hours are: 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekdays from Feb. 19 to March 6; 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday, March 7; 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. March 9 to March 13; 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, March 14; 1 to 5 p.m. March 15; and 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. on March 16.

• All vote-by-mail ballots must be postmarked by Monday, March 16. You may have to ask your post office to postmark the envelope. You may hand-deliver your vote-by-mail ballot to the elections office any time until 7:30 p.m. on Election Day.

• Election Day is March 17, and polls are open from 6:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m., and if you are in line when polls close you will be allowed to cast a ballot.

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