SHEFFIELD TWP. — Lorain County Board of Elections officials aren’t expecting a high voter turnout for today’s primary election.
“It’ll be a miracle if we hit 20 percent,” Jim Kramer, the elections board’s deputy director, said Monday.
Both Kramer and elections board Director Paul Adams said they expect about 19 percent of the county’s 202,672 registered voters to cast ballots in the election.
Four years ago, the last gubernatorial primary, saw voter turnout of just shy of 23 percent in Lorain County.
Adams said there’s very few contested races between candidates in this year’s primary, including for most of the high profiled races that will appear on the November ballot.
Most of the statewide races are already set for the fall and the only notable exception is Cuyahoga County Executive Ed FitzGerald, who is facing off against Larry Ealy in the Democratic primary for a chance to challenge Gov. John Kasich, who is unopposed in the Republican primary.
Republican voters will have a chance to decide whether they’d prefer to see Robert Horrocks Jr. or Richard May face off against U.S. Rep. Marcy Kaptur, D-Toledo, in November. Kaptur is unopposed in her party’s primary.
Voters in the GOP primary also will get to decide whether to keep state Central Committeeman Bob Rousseau in the job or elect challenger Michael Witte. Central Committeewoman Joyce Houck is facing her own challenger, Ethlyn Kennedy.
If there’s anything that will bring voters to the polls, Adams said, it will be the issues.
“The main turnout is going to be the issues and even there, there’s not a lot,” he said.
Voters across the county will be able to vote on whether they want to raise property taxes to provide funding for Lorain County Transit and the Lorain County Crime Lab.
There are also several school levies on the ballot, including renewals in Elyria, Sheffield-Sheffield Lake and Wellington. The Elyria Public Library, Keystone Schools and Olmsted Falls Schools are seeking additional funding from voters.
Lorain voters will be able to vote on renewing a 0.25 percent income tax, while Oberlin and Sheffield Lake officials are asking voters to raise incomes taxes in those communities.
Kramer said early voting has been slow this year, with only 1,710 people voting at the elections board’s offices and another 3,775 voters who have returned absentee ballots by mail.
Polls are open 6:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. For the latest in election results, visit our website this evening, or follow #ElectionCT via Twitter.