Clark, Champaign county election officials prepare for Aug. 2 primary

Voters cast their votes at a Springfield election poll during the May 3 primary. A second primary will be held on Aug. 2. BILL LACKEY/STAFF

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Voters cast their votes at a Springfield election poll during the May 3 primary. A second primary will be held on Aug. 2. BILL LACKEY/STAFF

Early voting is underway throughout the state as Clark and Champaign counties election officials gear up for the Aug. 2 primary election.

The statewide election includes partisan primaries for state House and Senate seats, and state party central committee seats. Clark County will also include a continuing 12.1 mill levy for Clark-Shawnee School District to replace two existing levies.

Elections officials are predicting low voter turnout with no more than 15% in Clark and Champaign counties.

Early in-person voting, though, had a strong start in both counties. Clark County Board of Elections director Jason Baker said that several voters came into the election board office Wednesday morning, braving the rain. He also said 168 absentee ballots were ready to mail out to voters.

Champaign County Board of Elections director Meredith Bodey also reported Wednesday that nearly a dozen people came into the board office that morning to cast their ballots.

“It’s much more than what I expected,” she said.

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Bodey said she expects the many summertime activities that take up the time of local families – county fairs, vacations and more – to impact turnout for the Aug. 2 primary.

Both election board directors also said they’re looking for pollworkers to work on election day.

Baker said he’d be pleased to get roughly 300 workers to help man polling locations. Bodey said roughly 56 workers – half of what other elections require – is what she’s expecting to use this upcoming election.

Preparing for this election was done on a tight timeline: statehouse primaries were originally slated for May with the primary for Ohio governor and U.S. Senate, but the Ohio Redistricting Commission failed to create maps that the Ohio Supreme Court found constitutional.

A federal court in May then ordered the state to have the primary in August using unconstitutional maps while they come up with new maps for 2024.

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Champaign County’s map is unaffected by the redistricting, but the Ohio Senate district including Clark County, District 10, now stretches all the way south to Wilmington but no longer includes Madison County. In addition, Clark County is split for its Ohio House of Representative districts: the northern part of the county (including Springfield) is in District 74, while the southern half of the county joins Greene and Clinton counties in the 71st district.

Both election officials said the $20 million allocated by the General Assembly to help them cover the costs of the primary was beneficial.

“Really, it was critical we got it,” Bodey said. Champaign County’s election board had only budgeted for two elections, as the Aug. primary was unexpected.

Baker said that the election board has coordinated countywide special elections for “a fraction” of what it received in its allocation.

Here are the competitive races and issues in the Aug. 2 ballot:

Champaign County

85th District House of Representatives:

Republican Tim Barhorst

Republican Rochiel Foulk

Republican Lilli Johnson Vitale

No Democrats filed for this seat.

12th District State Central Committee Democrat Man:

Richard C. Kerns (uncontested)

12th District State Central Committee Democrat Woman:

Tanner Rutschilling

Karen F. Ward

12th District State Central Committee Democrat Republican Man:

Keith Cheney

Jake Eilerman

George Andy Roberts

12th District State Central Committee Democrat Woman:

Katie DeLand

Stephanie Kremer

No issues or questions were filed for the Aug. 2 primary in Champaign County.

Clark County

10th District State Central Committee Democrat Man:

Seth Flora

Shawn E. Jackson

Daniel Saks

David M. Farrell

10th District State Central Committee Democrat Woman:

Sarah Freemantle (uncontested)

10th District State Central Committee Republican Man:

Steve Austria

Mark S. Johnson

10th District State Central Committee Republican Woman:

Laura A. Rosenberger (uncontested)

74th District State Representative:

Republican Bernard Willis (uncontested)

No Democrat filed for this seat.

Levies:

A Clark-Shawnee Local School District continuing 12.1 mill substituting levy to replace two existing tax levies.


Voting dates and times

Early voting weeks one, two and three (Wednesday, July 6 to Friday, July 22): 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekdays

Week four (Monday, July 25 to Monday, Aug. 1):

- 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday, July 25 to Friday, July 29

- 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, July 30

- 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday, July 31

- 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Monday, Aug. 1.

Election Day, Aug. 2: 6:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m.

Vote by mail: Applications for absentee ballots to be mailed for Aug. 2 election must be received by noon July 30 at your local board of elections. Though this is the deadline set in law, election officials warn that waiting until this deadline may make it hard to vote by mail because of delivery times.

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