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Early Voter Turnout Pathetic at Best

May Primary 2010
Photo by: Chris Myers

Toledo and its surrounding communities have a lot at stake this May primary, but voters so far are showing a collective yawn at the polls.

Early snapshots at popular polling places show a pathetic turnout. At Devilbiss, about a dozen people bothered to cast ballots prior to morning rush hour. Other precincts reported single digits or just a handful of voters.

Lucas County Board of Elections Director Linda Howe optimistically predicts a 25 percent voter turnout. Democratic Party Chairman Ron Rothenbuhler even went further, stating his belief that elections officials would see 30 percent of registered voters.

Based on what’s been seen so far, Lucas County will be lucky to see half of that. Remember, last September’s municipal primary only drew 18 percent of registered voters—and they were choosing the finalists for a new mayor and half of Toledo City Council.

For the first time in a long time, primary voters have contested races to choose within their own parties. Six Democratic Lucas County Commission candidates and three on the Republican side are vying for their party’s nomination.

Two Republicans are vying for the Congressional seat held by Democrat Marcy Kaptur for the first time in decades.

Toledo Public Schools wants more of your money with an earned income tax proposal on the ballot. That 0.75 percent income tax increase would drive the city’s rate to a full three percent. That prospect alone should be enough to get voters in the TPS district to the polls.

The future of the local GOP leadership also is at stake. Whoever wins that battle—Jeff Simpson or Jon Stainbrook—will go a long way in determining whether Lucas County has a viable two party system…or not.

There’s still time. Get out there and VOTE. Make your voice heard—and make it count. Too many people have died for that right for you to take it for granted.