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Published: Tuesday, 11/6/2012 - Updated: 1 year ago

Voter turnout at 52.9% in Lucas County

Precinct in Monclova Twp. had 69% turnout

BY FEDERICO MARTINEZ
BLADE STAFF WRITER

Lucas County voters were turning out in larger percentages than four years ago as of early this evening, according to the Lucas County Board of Elections.

Board chairman Ron Rothenbuhler said the vote turnout was 52.9 percent as of 5 p.m. today, compared with 43.3 percent at the same time, 5 p.m., on Election Day in 2008 at 16 selected precincts in the county.

However, Mr. Rothenbuhler noted that the elections board recently purged a lot of inactive voters, reducing total registered voters from 317,036 to 310,123.

Mr. Rothenbuhler said he was not sure if more people were voting or if the percentage looks higher because of the lower number of registered voters.

“Do I think the Democrats came out in a good number? Yes,” said Mr. Rothenbuhler, who is chairman of the Lucas County Democratic Party.

Jon Stainbrook, member of the board of elections and chairman of the Lucas County Republican Party, said he believes Republican turnout was up.

“The outer lying areas --Waterville, Monclova -- there were lines that were not in the city of Toledo,” Mr. Stainbrook said.

Voter turnout was in line to meet or exceed 2008 voter turnout in other northwest Ohio counties.

At about 7 p.m. today, Melanie Gilders, director of the Fulton County Board of Elections, said turnout at the polls has been strong throughout the day, but she didn’t have a percentage yet of how many people had voted.

However, based on the number of absentee ballots, Mrs. Gilders said she anticipates turnout could be in the ballpark of the 75 percent of Fulton County voters who cast ballots in 2008.

In Ottawa County, the number of residents casting ballots is on pace to surpass the 77 percent of registered voters who showed up in 2008, said Dan Laity, an Ottawa County Board of Elections board member.

Mr. Laity praised county election officials and poll workers for their hard work and efforts to make sure voting goes smoothly for residents.

“Our goal is to have a fair, transparent election with quick and accurate results,” said Mr. Laity. “Voter turnout is very strong.”

Numbers were unavailable in other counties, including Wood County where voter turnout numbers wouldn’t be available until precinct numbers start coming in, and at that point, numbers will be posted online.

A whopping 69 percent of registered voters - 900 out of 1,300 voters - in Monclova Township's precinct 2 had already cast ballots as of 2 p.m. today, poll workers there said.

PHOTO GALLERY: Click here to view images

The number of Ottawa County residents casting ballots is on pace to surpass the 77 percent of registered voters who showed up in 2008, said Dan Laity, an Ottawa County Board of Elections board member.

Mr. Laity praised county election officials and poll workers for their hard work and efforts to make sure voting goes smoothly for residents.

"Our goal is to have a fair, transparent election with quick and accurate results," said Mr. Laity. "Voter turnout is very strong."

Problems were reported late Tuesday afternoon at Waterville Precinct 2, which is the local fire station. Two of the six machines were broken and a third had jammed, causing some voters to wait in line and others to leave even before voting.

Approximately 370 voters had cast ballots in Waterville's  precinct 9 by 3 p.m., which poll workers say is a good turnout.

Voters continued to show up - but not in the same large numbers - at many Lucas County polling sites on Tuesday afternoon, giving many poll workers a much needed break after the morning rush.

"We've been extremely busy all day,"  Mark Pollock, polling captain at Toledo precinct 19-A, at Locke Branch Library said late afternoon as he took a short break to eat lunch. "The lines were out the door this morning."

Mr. Pollock said he expected lines to grow again this afternoon as voters leave work.

Voter turnout is typically higher for presidential elections, but Ohio voters have many other issues at stake.

Voters in Ohio are electing federal, state, and county officials as well as voting on levies, among other races and issues. 

There is also a hard-fought U.S. Senate race on the ballot, between incumbent Sherrod Brown, a Democrat, and Republican Josh Mandel, the Ohio state treasurer.

Issues on the ballot include a new $13.3 million permanent operating levy for Toledo Public Schools, a new recreation levy for the city of Toledo, and an additional levy for the Toledo-Lucas County Public Library.

Two constitutional questions are on the Ohio ballot - to change the way Statehouse and congressional districts are drawn and to hold a constitutional convention.

By 2 p.m., more than 184 people had voted in Precinct 18-A, Toledo, also at the Locke Branch Library, poll workers said. An additional 28 provisional ballots had also been cast.

The line of voters at the Kent Branch Library snaked out to the parking lot for several hours after the polling site opened the doors at 6:30 a.m., today. Voting in Ohio closes at 7:30 p.m. and at 8 p.m. in Michigan.

"I only had to wait about 10 minutes," said voter Kelly Jordan, who arrived at the Kent library branch during lunch break.

Ms. Jordan, who relocated from Indianapolis, said she was very interested in the local issues.

"The process to adding levies isn't as contentious in Indiana as it is here," said Mrs. Jordan. "I thought the local issues were very important."

Perhaps the most excited voter at the library was 18-year-old Trevon Bryant Bey, who voted for the first time today. He arrived to vote at about 1 p.m. with his mother, Charise Bryant Bey.

"That's all he's been talking about all week," said Charise Bryant Bey, who said her son work her up early to remind her they needed to go and vote. "He even handed me a piece of paper telling me how he wanted me to vote."

At the Kent branch, one couple reported trouble when voting.

Latimore Raymond knew her husband was registered to vote. They've been married 17 years and usually go and vote together.

But, when they arrived at the Kent Branch Library in central Toledo today to cast their ballots, Mrs. Latimore's husband, Raymond, was told the address on his driver's license didn't match the address on the voter registration list.

"I don't understand it -- we're married," said Mrs. Raymond, whose address matched correctly and was allowed to vote. "We'd like to know why (Mr. Raymond's address was listed incorrectly).

"You wonder if they are trying to rig up something."

Poll workers at the library weren't sure why Mr. Raymond's address was incorrect, but he was allowed to vote after he provided a copy of a medical bill that verified his home address.

Most problems are resolved quickly, but when they aren't, voters are allowed to cast a "provisional ballot," which is counted later if the voter information can be verified, elections officials said.

Contact Federico Martinez at: fmartinez@theblade.com or 419-724-6154.



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