THE BLADE/AMY E. VOIGT
Voting in Ohio’s 2014 primary election concludes Tuesday, with polls open from 6:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m.
Contested races include those for the Democratic nominee for governor, a statewide bond issue, statehouse and county government seats, the GOP nominee for the 9th Congressional District, a special election in one Toledo City Council district, and open seats for the Republican and Democratic central committees.
Also, the Sylvania and Bedford school districts have requests on the ballot for additional property taxes — $4.9 million a year for operations in Sylvania, and a 30-year, $70.35-million bond issue to finance renovations and construction in Bedford.
Polls in Michigan, where there are several school-levy elections, are open 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Lucas County has 174 polling locations for 352 precincts for its 312,412 registered voters, according to the Lucas County Board of Elections.
According to the Ohio Secretary of State, voters must be able to provide proof of their identity, which can be done with a driver’s license, military ID, a utility bill or paycheck, or current government document that shows the voter’s name and address.
Those who don’t have identification can vote by provisional ballot, which must be verified by the board of elections before the vote is counted.
Early voting has been open since April 1 but ended at noon Saturday.
Some 875 people took advantage of the 25 days of early voting that included one Saturday and one evening. The board of elections rented space in a downtown business building for early balloting.
In addition to those who voted early, 3,352 people have requested absentee ballots, of which 2,745 had been returned as of Saturday, according to Deputy Director Daniel DeAngelis.
Primaries typically don’t generate large voter turnouts.
The last gubernatorial primary, in 2010, had a well-contested primary for the Democratic U.S. Senate nomination, between Lt. Gov. Lee Fisher and Secretary of State Jennifer Brunner. It also had a statewide bond-issue question, and voters were asked to approve four locations around the state for casinos. The turnout was about 17 percent.
The only statewide question on the ballot is for a 10-year-old capital improvement program that approves borrowing of $1.875 billion, with up to 30 years for payback. The funds are provided to local governments for roads and bridges, water supply systems, solid waste disposal, and storm and sanitary sewage facilities.
The one statewide contest on the ballot is for governor, between the heavily endorsed Cuyahoga County executive, Ed FitzGerald, and the little-known Larry Ealy of the Dayton area.
Mr. FitzGerald, 45, a former FBI special agent, Lakewood mayor, and city councilman has locked down the bulk of labor’s endorsements and has banked $1.5 million for the presumed general election battle ahead against the unopposed Republican candidate, incumbent Gov. John Kasich.
Mr. Ealy, 51, believed to be the first black candidate to appear on an official Democratic ballot for governor, is a former tow-truck driver who’s been deemed a “vexatious litigator” by the Ohio Supreme Court because of the numerous lawsuits he’s filed.
Voters in South Toledo will pick their representative on council for the two years remaining in the term of former District 2 Councilman D. Michael Collins, now mayor. The candidates are endorsed Republican Joe Celusta, endorsed Democrat Matt Cherry, independent Marcia Helman, and Democrat Robert Vasquez.
The city council vote is being made on paper ballots because the city’s filing deadline occurred too late to include the race in the voting machines.
Local high-profile primary races include three Democrats vying for the party’s nomination for an open seat on Lucas County Common Pleas Court. In addition, two Democrats and two Republicans are competing for party nominations for an open seat on the county’s Domestic Relations Court.
Among the primary races to be settled Tuesday are Republican nominees for state House of Representatives from the 88th District, which is Sandusky and Seneca counties; the 47th District, in western Lucas County and part of Fulton County, and the 4th, 81st and 82nd Districts, which cover all or parts of Williams, Defiance, Paulding, Henry, Fulton, Putnam, Van Wert, and Allen counties.
In the region are local levies for fire, police, social services, recreation, and swimming pools.
At the county levels, Lucas County voters will pick both a Democratic and a Republican nominee for county commissioner.
Wood County voters have a three-way race for the Republican nominee for county commissioner.