Incumbent Mayor Paula Hicks-Hudson has fallen behind challenger Wade Kapszukiewicz, the Lucas County treasurer, in balloting for Toledo mayor with one-third of the vote reported, according to unofficial results from the Lucas County Board of Elections.
Mr. Kapszukiewicz was ahead of Ms. Hicks-Hudson by 56.5 to 43.5, with 33.3 percent of precincts reporting.
The polls closed on Election 2017 at 7:30 p.m. with a turnout in Lucas County of 29.5 percent, according to the Lucas County Board of Elections.
RELATED: Complete local election results
Marty Limmer, manager of information technology, said 76,679 people had voted on Tuesday, as of 7:30 p.m. That number was expected to grow slightly as people in line were still allowed to vote. Adding in the 12,391 people who voted by absentee ballot in-person and by mail means the voter turnout was about 29.5 percent at 7:30 p.m.
That compares with 26.2 percent who voted the last time Toledo had a regular election for mayor, 2013.
Issues and races that drove people to the polls in northwest Ohio this year included two statewide ballot issues, a smattering of school and park levy questions, and races for mayor and council in all municipalities, township trustees, and school board members.
Exciting local races include Toledo mayor and six at-large council seats, Washington Local and Toledo school boards, Sylvania Township trustee, Perrysburg mayor, and Municipal judges in Toledo, Sylvania, Oregon, and Maumee.
Toledo voters were divided among supporters for the incumbent Mayor Paula Hicks-Hudson, who thought she has the city on the right path, and supporters of challenger Wade Kapszukiewicz, who think the city needs a change.
Ron Jackson cast his vote for the incumbent early Tuesday morning at the Scott Park campus.
“I’d like to see her get a full term,” he said, “to see what she can actually do.”
He just missed Ms. Hicks-Hudson, who voted early on Sunday and spent the morning greeting voters at polling locations.
Mr. Kapszukiewicz cast his ballot at Old Orchard Elementary School, where he was greeting voters as well, before doing much of the same all around the city.
One supporter, Lisa Rocco, cast her vote for Mr. Kapszukiewicz at Glendale-Feilbach Elementary School.
"It seems that she's made a difference and she's getting things done,” Ms. Rocco said of Ms. Hicks-Hudson, “but there's room for improvement."
Voters also came motivated to address the two statewide issues. Issue 1, also called Marsy’s law, was also supported by Ms. Rocco.
"I didn't know how unfairly so many of the victims were treated," she said.
Issue 2, which asks voters to enact a law prohibiting the state, directly or indirectly through the programs it funds, from paying more for prescription drugs than the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs pays, attracted quite a bit of statewide attention.
Irene Barker voted in favor of the issue, because she wants to see her medication costs drop.
“Prescriptions are so expensive,” she said, so much so that she has been taking her medicine every other day.
But the proposal’s opponents have argued that the bill will not accomplish its goal, leading Richard Voigt, a University of Toledo medical student, to vote against the proposal.
“At surface level it sounds appealing,” he said. “But the language is very ambiguous.”
Bob Welly did not vote for Issue 2, either, hoping that the state’s General Assembly can address the issue in a more detailed way.
“It’s confusing,” he said. “It’s not appropriate for a ballot issue.”
Voters ran into trouble at Old Orchard Elementary. At least three people cast their votes electronically, but the paper roll that also records votes was incomplete. Three men were able to vote electronically for city council, but did not see their votes recorded on the paper.
“The screens performed as advertised,” Robert Stiegel said, “but the printing paper that I expected to start scrolling didn’t.”
He and Brian Niedzwiecki both cast their ballots, and were assured by election officials that their ballots were recorded electronically.
“I’ve been using these machines for years,” Mr. Niedzwiecki said. “This is not how they functioned in the past.”
Tim Barger, a former Blade reporter and now minister at First Unitarian Church of Toledo, also caught the issue and told polling officials. His first vote was voided, he said, and he voted on another machine that had the same malfunction.
“We know it is at least four machines out of the 16.”
LaVera Scott, director of the Lucas County Board of Elections, said the paper trail is only used in recounts or audits, and is not used in tallying votes.
“The paper portion is not to record your vote,” she said. “We are not even allowed to open those unless there’s an audit or a recount.”
Beyond Old Orchard, several locations in the city had trouble getting their electronic voting set up.
“It has not been the smoothest morning,” she said.
Several polling locations deviated from the set-up procedures, forcing voters to cast votes on paper ballots instead of using electronic machines. At one point, six locations had connectivity problems that have since been addressed.
“That’s not horrible, but it’s more than we want,” she said.
The acquisition of a new computer server ensured the board avoided a repeat of the equipment malfunction that complicated the vote-counting in the Sept. 12 primary. Director LaVera Scott said the new computer was furnished by the board’s election contractor, replacing a computer that was only two and a half years old.
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