ASHLAND — Here’s what you need to know before heading to the polls on Aug. 2 for the state’s special election.
Results from next week’s special election will tell voters which state House and Senate, and central committee, candidates will appear on November’s general election ballots.
The primaries for statewide issues and congressional and local offices happened May 3.
The reason for the delay hinges on the redistricting process that the state supreme court deemed unconstitutional several times, ultimately leading a federal court to impose the Aug. 2 election.
State House District 67, which includes all of Ashland and part of Medina counties, was part of the redistricting process. There are four candidates running — one Democrat and three Republicans, including Ashland resident Melanie Miller.
Matt Young, Loudonville Village Council President, dropped out of the race on June 10, according to his withdrawal letter.
In a press release issued June 16, Young said, “I care very deeply about the future of our great state, and as I have said from the very beginning, this race was not about personal ambition.
“It was about fair representation, Conservative values and, above all, unity. I want to make sure that Ashland County has a voice in Columbus, and I believe this decision allows that to happen.”
Young first announced his candidacy on Nov. 30.
Who’s on the ballot?
On the Democratic ballot, voters will choose one of two men and one of two women running for the state’s central committee. Drew Burge is the only Democrat running for the state House District 67 seat.
On the Republican side, voters will choose one of four men and one of two women running for the state’s central committee.
Miller, Ron Falconi and Terry Robertson are the Republican candidates for the state House seat.
Ashland County Board of Elections Director Shannon Johnson said voter turnout during special elections is historically low, generating around 6% turnout.
“The last time we had an August, special election was in 2017, for a quarter-percent sales tax increase for the jail,” she said.
Johnson said the turnout that year was 6.62%.
But Johnson expects that number to be better this time around because of Miller’s candidacy.
Early voting started July 6. The Ashland County Board of Elections has been open weekdays from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., but those hours will change as the election gets closer.
• July 25-29 hours: 8 a.m. to 7 p.m.
• July 30 hours: 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.
• July 31 hours: 1 to 5 p.m.
Early voting ends Aug. 1 at 2 p.m. Polls will be open from 6:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. on Aug. 2.
As of July 15, the county has received a total of 536 ballots as a result of early voting. Of those, 227 have been cast in person and 226 have been mailed. The other 83 came from nursing home residents, military personnel, hand-carry ballots and curbside ballots, Johnson said.
New polling location for Vermillion Township
Ashland County has 19 polling locations. One of them, however, has been moved. Voters located in Vermillion Township will now cast ballots at Hayesville United Methodist Church, 44 S. Mechanic St.
The move is permanent because of the county’s recent sale of the service center along State Route 60, Johnson said.
To double check where to vote, click here.
Johnson said the board of elections needs five additional poll workers. Several people who have worked the polls in the past are either on vacation or have prior commitments, she said.
The poll worker shortage, however, is nothing like the one the board of elections faced during the May primary election, she said.