May 5, 2022 - Politics

Franklin County voter turnout lags in primary

Data: Ohio Secretary of State, Franklin County Board of Elections; Chart: Simran Parwani/Axios

Not even a high-profile U.S. Senate campaign and a contested governor's race could drive a large number of Ohioans to the polls.

Driving the news: Just over 20% of registered Ohio voters cast ballots in this week's primary election, which also featured congressional races and local initiatives.

Zoom in: Turnout was even lower in Franklin County, which saw just one in six registered voters cast primary ballots.

  • The addition of a few thousand absentee and provisional ballots will keep this year from being the county's lowest midterm election turnout in decades.

Between the lines: It's common for turnout to be lower in a primary than a November general election.

  • This year's turnout may have been especially hampered by the lack of statewide ballot initiatives and uncontested congressional races in the districts representing Franklin County.
  • There were also no state legislative races due to the ongoing redistricting process.

What's next: Another primary election on Aug. 2 is for those legislative races.

Catch up quick: A lengthy sequence of missed deadlines and court rulings has members of the Ohio Redistricting Commission still working to hash out new maps for the state Senate and House of Representatives.

  • The Ohio Supreme Court ordered members to pass new maps by tomorrow.
  • Federal judges, meanwhile, gave the commission a separate deadline of May 28 pledging to impose earlier maps that the Ohio Supreme Court ruled as an unconstitutional Republican gerrymander should that deadline be missed.

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