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Where's The Turnout For Local Elections?

Voters fill out their ballots at the Hamilton County Board of Elections on the first day of early voting, Wednesday, Oct. 10, 2018, in Cincinnati.
John Minchillo
Associated Press
Voters fill out their ballots at the Hamilton County Board of Elections on the first day of early voting, Wednesday, Oct. 10, 2018, in Cincinnati.

In this week's episode of Snollygoster, Ohio's politics podcast from WOSU, hosts Mike Thompson and Steve Brown discuss why it's so hard to get voters out to polls for local elections where their impact can be much greater. Political consulatant Mary Anne Sharkey joins the show.

Listen to Snollygoster on the WOSU Public Media mobile app, on Apple Podcasts, or wherever you get your podcasts. And make sure to leave a rating and review!

On this week's episode:

Rock The Vote? More Like Smooth Jazz

While it's not as flashy as presidential politics, there is actually an election next week where Columbus and other municiplaities throughout Ohio will cast ballots for city council, school board, and judges. Turnout for these elections is historically low and its a safe bet that  you won’t have to wait in line at your polling location.

Two years ago, 202,000 voters cast ballots in Franklin County, a participation rate of 23%. In 2016, when Donald Trump faced Hillary Clinton, 593,000 people voted for a 70% turnout rate. So if you crunch the numbers, showing up for local elections gives voters much more bang for their buck.  

Executions On Hold

Gov. Mike DeWine has delayed two more executions because of the state's ongoing difficulties in sourcing supplies of lethal injection drugs. DeWine has said he’s concerned that pharmaceutical companies will cut off the state’s access if their drugs are used for the death penalty.

That means for the first time in three years, since reinstating the death penalty, Ohio will not carry out any executions in 2019.

Snollygoster Of The Week

Conservatives usually fawn all over men and women in the military, but this week they demonized Army Lt. Colonel Alexander Vindman. He’s the National Security Council expert on the Ukraine call who testified in the impeachment inquiry this week.

Meanwhile, liberals who aren't always considered pro-military basically deified Vindman because his testimony was critical of the president.

Send questions and comments to snollygoster@wosu.org.

Mike Thompson spends much of his time correcting people who mispronounce the name of his hometown – Worcester, Massachusetts. Mike studied broadcast journalism at Syracuse University when he was not running in circles – as a distance runner on the SU track team.
Steve Brown grew up in nearby Richwood, Ohio and now lives there with his wife and sons. He started his journalism career as a weekend board operator at WOSU while majoring in journalism at Ohio State, where he also wrote for the student newspaper The Lantern and co-founded the organization Students for Public Broadcasting.