WARREN — While those in the Mahoning Valley who showed up on the first day of early voting didn’t have to wait in long lines because so few of them came out, some said they won’t be back for the second primary election.
Because the Ohio Supreme Court rejected four state legislative maps from the Ohio Redistricting Commission over constitutionality issues, the May 3 primary doesn’t include races for the Ohio House and Senate and for state central committee members. The primary for those races will be held at an undetermined date later this year though Secretary of State Frank LaRose said Aug. 2 is most likely when it would happen.
Edrea Mientkiewicz, deputy director of the Trumbull County Board of Elections, described the first day of the primary election as slow but steady.
“It is going as expected,” Mientkiewicz said. “There has been some confusion, but overall, it has been going as previous primary elections have gone. We usually have a little higher turnout, but we are hoping to have more people come out as people learn that early voting is happening.”
The Trumbull board is renting space at a vacant building at 2911 Youngstown Warren Road SE, Warren, for its early voting center. It is next door to the board offices.
By 3 p.m. Tuesday, 86 people went to the early voting center, Mientkiewicz said.
“It usually picks up in the afternoon as people get off from work,” she said.
The early voting site has about a dozen voting booths available all day, so people get in and out fairly quickly.
Howland resident Karen Massari said she has been voting early for at least a decade.
“I’m concerned about the second primary being held in the summer,” Massari said. “This is not a presidential election year, so turnout will be lower. There will be a lot of people who will be on vacation when the next primary occurs, so that may push down the results.”
Army veteran Anthony Balista, 78, of Warren, said he always votes early.
“I believe everyone should take the time to vote,” Balista said. “It is our responsibility to vote and participate in society.”
A military careerist who served multiple tours in Korea, Vietnam and Germany, Balista joined the Army in 1962 and retired in 1983.
Lordstown resident Jackie Haverly also said described herself as a regular early voter.
“It is easy to get in and get out,” she said. “I don’t have any concern about there being two primaries.”
Joann and Harry Ramsey of Vienna Township described voting early as something they regularly have done over the years.
“It is very easy,” Joann said. “The workers do a good job.”
Although not being concerned about the possibility of two primaries, she said her only concern is the cost of having a second primary.
Kevin Lewis, 63, of Howland, has been voting since 1963. In most elections, about 60 percent of the time, Lewis attempts to get out and vote early.
“I would like to see a change at the governor level,” Lewis said. “I disagree with some of (Gov. Mike) DeWine’s decisions about COVID and mandates.”
Robert Faulkner, 73, of Warren, likes to vote early because he often is out of town during the actual election dates.
“I want to make sure I get my vote in,” Faulkner said. “Having two primaries just adds to a lot of confusion.”
Early in-person voting continues today to Friday 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Those same early voting hours are in effect for Monday to April 15 and April 18 to 22.
It is 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. April 25 to 29.
Early voting April 30 is 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. It is 1 to 5 p.m. May 1, and 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. May 2.
Polling locations are open from 6:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. May 3.
The Mahoning County early voting center is at Oakhill Renaissance Place, 345 Oak Hill Ave., Youngstown.
Staff writer David Skolnick contributed to this report.