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Politics

Voting Tomorrow? Here's What You Need To Know

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It’s election week, and Ohio voters will head to the polls tomorrow to determine the results of various races and issues. In Central Ohio, there are some ballot items that are especially important for residents to keep an eye on.

15th Congressional District

Residents that fall into the 15th congressional district will vote for former representative Steve Stivers’ replacement. Stivers resigned from congress in April for a position as the president and CEO of the Ohio Chamber of Commerce.

In a special election primary in August, Republican Mike Carey and Democrat Allison Russo came out on top in their respective parties.

Back when she won her primary, WOSU spoke to Russo about her win. She said that until tomorrow’s election, she would be trying to get people out into the community to vote since the primary election turnout was low at around 13 percent.

“I’m working for the people of this district and fighting for their issues," Russo said. "This isn’t about me running for someone else or under someone else’s name."

In previous reporting, Carey garnered 37% of the vote in his primary race, where there were 10 other candidates. An Emerson College/NBC4 poll in mid-October found that Carey was 11 points ahead of Russo in Tuesday's election.

The 15th district includes portions of Upper Arlington, Grove City, Hilliard, and Grandview Heights.

School Board Elections

Over the summer, the world of K-12 education took a center seat when it comes to hot topics — like critical race theory and more recently, mask mandates in schools.

Districts like Hilliard City Schools, Olentangy Local Schools, and Gahanna-Jefferson Public Schools all have candidates running on platforms against mask mandates.

Back in September, local school board candidate Beth Murdoch, who’s a part of a group called 'Parents for Hilliard City School Board', said when it comes to masking in schools, it should be “parent’s choice.”

"I believe that we need to address the concerns and issues that the community are bringing up," Murdoch said.

Other candidates like Nikki Hudson, who’s running for re-election on Worthington’s school board, continued to support the mandates.

“It’s not that the parent voice doesn’t matter, and I want to be very clear about that, it is at the end of the day your responsibility as board members to make decisions based on what is in the best interest of the student,” Hudson said.

A former Ohio State professor of political science, Herb Asher, said the election will truly show how various communities feel about these hot-button issues.

Franklin County Issue 7

Issue 7 is one that Columbus City Council has been vocal about opposing. The ballot measure would give $87 million to create four different funds related to energy conservation, clean energy education, minority businesses, and a partnership with the city.

However, that’s where things get murky. Not only is this money coming from the city’s general funds, but lawmakers also said they don’t know who exactly the money is going to, and what specifically it’s going to be used for.

WOSU spoke to council member Rob Dorans about the issue earlier this year after they were required by the Ohio Supreme Court to put it on November's ballot. Dorans said that the petition from a group called ProEnergy Ohio LLC was initially denied last December because the initiatives were extremely vague.

“We think this is bad public policy, we don’t think this is good for the citizens of Columbus, we don’t think this is good for our budgets, this is not good for clean energy development,” Dorans said.

Connie Gadell-Newton, an attorney who represents ProEnergy Ohio LLC, said she believes the group has been specific in how they will use the money, like funding scholarships for students who want to study programs related to clean energy.

“It’s an investment in our future both in the people of Columbus and our minority communities and really for all of us,” Gadell-Newton said.