LIMA — Just two months after the 2019 election, and 2020 is already revving its engines for state primaries.
“We’re pushing forward,” Allen County Board of Elections Director Kathy Meyer said. Due to an early primary, Meyer said the board is already putting together its ballot orders to be ready by Ohio’s primary date of March 17.
Republicans, Democrats and Libertarians will all have different options the primary, Meyer said, and few local issues will be ready for voters.
Here is a quick list of dates and local issues voters need to know to begin prepping for the polls this March.
Jan. 6: Write-in candidates for the March primaries need to act if they wish to register as a write-in. Ohio law requires filing by write-in candidates. Write-in votes cast for an individual who hasn’t filed as a candidate won’t be counted.
Feb. 3: The Iowa presidential primaries are the first in the nation, and many political experts rely on the results to gauge future success for presidential nominations. While the winner of the Iowa primary doesn’t always grab the final nomination, the general rule of thumb is that one of the top three have a good chance of becoming the official presidential candidate to run against the incumbent, President Donald Trump.
Feb. 11: The New Hampshire primaries are second on the nation’s list of state presidential primaries. If a candidate can place well here, they have a much better chance here heading into what political wonks call “Super Tuesday.”
Feb. 18: Ohio voters should take special note of Feb. 18 — the last day they can register to vote for the March primary. Voters are encouraged to check their registration status online or head to the Allen County Board of Elections, located at 204 N. Main St., or the election board in their county of residence to ensure they have a voice in the state election.
Feb. 19: Polls open the day after the registration deadline.
March 3: Both Nevada and South Carolina have primaries prior to March 3, but it’s Super Tuesday, scheduled for March 3, that really starts to solidify who will be running head-to-head with Trump when 14 state primaries weigh in with their primary votes. It’s worth noting here that Trump has a number of primary challengers, but his continued popularity among the Republican base has pegged him as the most likely winner as of this moment.
March 17: Ohio voters will have two celebrations this year on March 17. The Ohio state primary runs concurrently on St. Patrick’s Day, but it remains to be seen if someone can cook up a red, white, blue and green beer.
Levy issues on the ballot include: Delphos city schools, additional tax income levy, 0.5%, current expenses, five years; City of Delphos, renewal income tax levy, 0.25%, parks and recreation, five years; and Elida schools, renewal levy, 6.61 mills, emergency requirements, five years.
Bluffton voters will also have local options allowing Greenhorn to sell alcohol on weekdays and Sunday.
Out of the county-wide races to watch, voters will be choosing candidates for Allen County Commissioner and those looking at Jim Jordan’s 4th Congressional District Seat. More information on the large fields for those two positions will be available soon.
Other major political dates happening after Ohio’s state primary are the two major national political conventions. The Republican National Convention is set for the week starting Aug. 24 to take place in Charlotte, North Carolina, and the Democratic National Convention is scheduled for the week starting July 13 to take place in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.
Reach Josh Ellerbrock at 567-242-0398.