LIMA — Elections officials expect light turnout at the polls today as voters consider mostly requests for money.
Ken Terry, director of the Allen County Board of Elections, said he expected 12 to 15 percent turnout in Tuesday’s election. Terry said the absence of contested races in Allen County, with only a contested Republican primary in Delphos’s 1st Ward, will bring down the turnout, despite numerous levy requests.
“Since you don’t have any candidates running, that’s probably the driving factor,” he said. “There’s literally millions of dollars at stake on the ballot, but interest is not nearly as high without the candidates on there.”
New money requests are on the ballot for voters in the Apollo Career Center and Elida schools districts and in Perry Township. There are renewal or replacement requests for Bluffton schools, Delphos Public Library, Johnny Appleseed Metropolitan Park District and Lima schools. All polling places will be open in Allen County, Terry said.
There are candidates for council races in Delphos and Lima, but not enough to require a primary. One exception is Delphos’s 1st Ward, with Andrew Daley and Andrew Knueve facing off in Republican primary. In the Van Wert County portion of Delphos, Greg Etgen and Del Kemper square off for the Republican nomination for Delphos’ 3rd Ward seat.
Terry based his estimates on lower absentee voting interest. He saw nearly 1,400 absentee ballots for this election, compared to 13,726 absentee ballots cast in the November presidential election.
Auglaize County anticipates as much as 20 percent turnout in its May election, said Carolyn Campbell, director of the Auglaize County Board of Elections. Most polling places will be open — except for ones in the Minster, New Bremen and New Knoxville areas. Fewer machines will be set up at the Auglaize County Fairgrounds.
“I’m thinking the St. Marys City School District issue will be pretty busy. There’s some controversy over the school issue,” Campbell said of the Roughriders’ request for 5 mills and 1 percent income tax. “Other than that, it’s a pretty slow election.”
St. Marys also has two contested Republican primaries on its city council. David A. Lunz and Cameron Ruppert face off for a 2nd Ward nomination. Three of the five candidates for council-at-large — Russell A. Bailey, Bob Fitzgerald, Todd Fleagle, James J. Harris and Dan Uhlenhake — will advance to the November ballot.
Funding requests in Auglaize County include new money in Buckland and renewal or replacement levies in the Marion Local and Waynesfield-Goshen school districts.
Only a handful of polling places will open in Putnam County, where only voters in the Apollo school district have anything to decide.
In Hardin County, Ada and Upper Scioto Valley schools have requests for new money, while Blanchard Township and Liberty Township requested replacement levies. A contested race exists in Kenton for the 2nd Ward seat, between David M. Beazley and Rose M. Zuchetto.
In Van Wert County, there are several contested races. Two people, Ken Mengerink and Pete Weir, compete for the Republican nomination for Van Wert council president. In Van Wert’s 3rd Ward, Gerald “Jerry” Mazur and Stuart Jewett compete. Four people will battle for three Republican spots on the November ballot for Van Wert Council-At-Large, including Stan Agler, Brent Crone, Kirby R. Kelly and Jon Tomlinson.