Pitifully low turnout for special August primary
Just nine of the 952 voters registered to a slivered voting precinct near Canal Winchester made the trip to Gender Road Christian Church Tuesday to cast a ballot.
- That 1% turnout still beats the seven total voters in a precinct off High Street.
- And it's more than the turnout at a University of Cincinnati precinct: 0.
Why it matters: Tuesday's pitiful public participation was the predictable result of a second primary for Statehouse elections held because of repeated redistricting failures.
- If summertime plans didn't keep voters away, the lack of competitive races did.
- More than 80% of the races featured a candidate running unopposed — or no candidate at all.
Eye-popping stat: Ohio taxpayers footed the $20 million bill to hold this extra election, amounting to nearly $32 spent per ballot cast.
The big picture: The statewide voter turnout was 7.9%, per unofficial results from the Ohio Secretary of State office.
- No county has reached a 20% turnout and only 14 have cracked double digits.
- Those figures may increase slightly as late arriving mail-in ballots are tabulated and provisional votes are resolved.
Zoom in: Franklin County's turnout was 6.8%, the lowest in any election since 2013.
💭 Tyler's thought bubble: I cast one of just 48 ballots at my precinct. For reference, I saw way more people in line to see the state fair's butter cow last weekend.
- "It's been busier than we thought," a cheerful poll worker told me.
- They must not have expected much, since the precinct turnout was a paltry 5%.
The bottom line: Tuesday's election followed a year of political pingpong, missed deadlines and defiance of judicial oversight.
- It's easy to have gotten lost in the drumbeat of redistricting coverage. But this is how we got here:
Sept. 16: The Ohio Redistricting Commission, made up of five Republicans and two Democrats, passes the first set of maps, without bipartisan support.
- The Ohio Supreme Court later rejects these maps as unconstitutional.
Jan. 22: Commission passes a second set of maps without bipartisan support.
Feb. 24: Commission passes a third set of maps without bipartisan support.
March 28: Commission passes a fourth set of maps without bipartisan support.
May 3: Ohio's first primary election is held without state legislative races.
May 5: Commission resubmits the third set of maps again without bipartisan support.
May 27: Federal judges order Ohio to hold a second primary, for state legislative races, using the unconstitutional third set of maps.
Aug. 2: Just 6.93% of Ohioans cast ballots in that taxpayer funded, $20 million election.
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