The majority of the 140,280 registered Delaware County voters who plan to vote in the upcoming election will cast a ballot on Tuesday, Nov. 5. However, as of 4 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 30, the Delaware County Board of Elections has received 3,871 absentee ballots from voters who took advantage of Ohio’s early voting.
According to the Delaware County Board of Elections (BOE), of the 140,000-plus total registered voters, 72,033 are not aligned with a party affiliation, 49,968 are registered Republican, 18,210 are registered Democrat, and 69 voters are registered with the Green Party.
The 3,871 absentee ballots were either mailed, hand-delivered or cast in person at the board’s early voting center located at 2079 U.S. Route 23, Delaware.
A breakdown down of the absentee ballots by party shows that 2,044 Republican, 1,001 Democrat, three Green, and 823 voters who don’t identify with any of the party affiliations have voted ahead of the Nov. 5 election.
Since the May primary was only a Republican and limited issues-only election, many voters will be using the new Unisyn Voting Solutions OpenElect voting system for the first time this election. Emma Jones, who ran unopposed, was the only Democratic candidate running in the May Primary.
“They (voting machines) held up well in the primary,” BOE Director Karla Herron said. “No complaints from the poll workers.”
As of Thursday, Herron said staff had started moving the new voting equipment to the 165 precincts located throughout the county.
“We’re prepared for a higher turnout,” she said. “All the poll workers are trained, and we’re putting out extra equipment as a test run for the (2020) Presidential Election.”
According to previous reports from election officials, the board is required by Ohio statute to provide 754 poll workers for all elections, but it usually employs well beyond the required number to help maintain shorter lines by getting voters in and out as quickly as possible on Election Day.
Herron pointed out one temporary change for this election. Voters in the Liberty B precinct will vote at the Delaware Township Hall located at 2590 Liberty Road, Delaware, for this election only. The usual polling location, the lodge at Deer Haven, is temporarily closed for remodeling but will be open again for the 2020 primary.
Herron said she is expecting about a 40% voter turnout rate for Tuesday’s election.
“I think the contested races will be higher, but overall, I think it will be a 40% turnout rate,” she said.
Voters will decide on races in the local municipalities, townships, and villages, including the unopposed races of Kyle Rohrer and Judge Marianne Hemmeter, both of whom are running for the two open Delaware Municipal Court judge seats.
The only contested municipal race is between Jones (D) and incumbent Cindy Dinovo (R) for clerk of Delaware Municipal Court.
Voters in each of the 18 townships will decide on one trustee and a fiscal officer candidate.
In the villages of Ashley, Galena, Ostrander, Shawnee Hills, and Sunbury, electors will decide on a mayor and vote on the village council races. Ashley and Ostrander voters will also have to decide on a member of the Board of Trustees of Public Affairs.
In the Big Walnut Local School District, Buckeye Valley Local School District, Delaware City School District, and Olentangy Local School District, voters will decide on a board of education member.
For the city of Delaware, all four city council wards are up for re-election, and in the city of Powell, three seats on city council are also up for grabs.
Upcoming election dates to remember:
• Nov. 2 — The last valid absentee ballots are mailed out by 12 p.m.
• Nov. 4 — The last day for the Absentee Vote Center, 2079 U.S. 23, Delaware, to be open (closes at 2 p.m. and all mail-in absentee ballots must be postmarked by Nov. 4)
• Nov. 5 — General Election Day, polls open 6:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m., and all walk-in absentee ballots must be received at the Board of Elections office no later than 7:30 p.m.
• Nov. 15 — Absentee ballots postmarked Nov. 4 must be received, and all Uniformed and Overseas Citizens Absentee Voting Act (UOCAVA) ballots, with or without any postmark, must be received by this date
• Nov. 25 — Board of Elections ruling on provisional ballots
• Nov. 26 — Board of Elections official canvas
• Dec. 18 — Deadline for candidates to file for the primary election to be held March 17, 2020
Contact D. Anthony Botkin at 740-413-0902. Follow him on Twitter @dabotkin.