The voter registration deadline for the May primary election is Monday, April 9, and early voting for the primary commences the very next day.
“We will have extended hours on Monday, 8:30 a.m. to 9 p.m., for the final day to register,” said Beth Ann Snyder, Fayette County Board of Elections director. “For those who are not registered or for those who are registered and need to update your address, we encourage you to come out or take care of it online.”
The Fayette County Board of Elections is located at 135 S. Main St. in Washington C.H. Other voter registration locations are the Fayette County License Bureau, 103 E. East St.; Carnegie Public Library, 127 S. North St.; and the Fayette County Treasurer’s Office, 133 S. Main St. on the third floor.
Voters may go to MyOhioVote.com/VoterRegistration to register online or update an existing registration. Voter registration forms can also be printed from MyOhioVote.com or obtained from a local library or board of elections office.
To be qualified to register as an elector, a person must:
– Be a citizen of the United States.
– Be a resident of Ohio for at least 30 days immediately before the election in which you want to vote.
– Be at least 18-years-old on or before Nov. 6, 2018.
– Not be incarcerated (in prison) for a felony conviction under the laws of this state, another state or the United States.
– Not have been declared incompetent for voting purposes by a probate court.
– Be registered to vote in Ohio at least 30 consecutive days before the election.
Early voting in Ohio begins on Tuesday, April 10. Voters have the option of casting their absentee ballot either in person or by mail.
The deadline to request an absentee ballot is three days before the election in which you want to vote, but voters can submit their application at any time. If mailed, absentee ballots must be postmarked by the day before the election in order to be counted, according to the Ohio Secretary of State website. Early voters can also return their absentee ballot in-person to their county board of elections before the close of the polls at 7:30 p.m. on Election Day.
Snyder said she hopes that voter turnout for the May 8 primary will be up around 20 percent. “Typically, it’s a lower turnout,” she said. “We looked back four years ago and it wasn’t even quite 16 percent. But with the state issue, the redistricting, a couple of county issues and a county race on the ballot, we’re trying to be optimistic about it.”
Local candidates and issues on the primary ballot will include:
The Fayette County Commissioners placed a 1.3-mill, three-year tax levy for ambulance and emergency medical services on the ballot in order to keep county-wide services intact. The estimated property tax revenue that will be produced by the 1.3 mills is calculated to be $1,043,587, according to the certificate signed by Fayette County Auditor Aaron Coole.
Jefferson Township also has a levy for ambulance and EMS services — a 5-mill levy for a “continuing period of time.”
Brenda Mossbarger will be running against auditor Aaron Coole in the Republican primary.
Jim Garland, a Republican, is running for Fayette County Commissioner, as longtime commissioner Jack DeWeese has decided not to seek another term. DeWeese was appointed as commissioner on Sept. 4, 2000 by the Fayette County Republican Central Committee following the death of then-commissioner Delbert Haines. That same year, DeWeese, who was filling an unexpired term, also won at the November election.
Sandra Wilson, who was recently appointed by the Fayette County Republican Central Committee as the new Fayette County Clerk of Courts following the retirement of Evelyn Pentzer, will also be running in the primary unopposed.
Several races within the Republican Central Committee were certified Friday: Steve Begin and Alfred Cornell in precinct 1-C; Evelyn Pentzer and Lyle Ranson in 3-D; Gregg Phipps and Cathy Templin in 3-F; Val McKinney and Joni Sword in 4-B; Wayne Arnold and Glenn Rankin in Jasper Township; Robin Beekman and Jeffrey Schlichter in Paint Township; Janet Anderson and Jack McDaniel in Perry Township; and David Edwards, Bryana Gibbs and E. Renee Loyd in Union North.
All of the candidates running for positions on the Fayette County Democratic Central Committee are uncontested.
Snyder also said the local board of elections is always in need of new poll workers.
“We are going to hold a class later on this month if somebody wants to volunteer as a poll worker,” she said. ” “Due to retirements and people moving, we’re constantly needing to replenish our poll workers.”
Reach Ryan Carter at 740-313-0352 or on Twitter @rywica