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Low Turnout Predicted For Tuesday's Primary Election

Voters in Cincinnati will go the polls Tuesday to choose this fall's contenders for the mayor's job; and voters in several other southwest Ohio communities will decide ballot issue and tax levies.

But not everyone in the region will have any candidate races or ballot issues to decide in this election.

For example, in Clermont County, only 11 of the county's 167 precincts have ballot issues to decide.

In Hamilton County, the largest county in southwest Ohio, only 215 of the county's 350 polling place will be open, according to county elections director Sherry Poland.

In Cincinnati, three candidates will be on the mayoral primary ballot – incumbent John Cranley, Council Member Yvette Simpson, and former University of Cincinnati trustee Rob Richardson.

Despite the attention given to the campaign, through five debates and hundreds of thousands of dollars of advertising having been spent, election officials are expecting a relatively low turnout in Cincinnati.

"We are hoping for 15 to 20 percent turnout in the city of Cincinnati,'' Poland said.

The last mayoral primary in 2013 had only 5.7 percent turnout, but Poland said it could be somewhat higher this year because early absentee balloting is up over four years ago.

The top two finishers in this fiercely contested mayoral primary will face each other in the November election for a four-year term as Cincinnati's mayor.

While the Cincinnati mayor's race is getting the bulk of the attention, there are other candidate races and ballot issues in southwest Ohio:

Hamilton County:

  •   On the Republican side, there is a contested primary with six candidates in Harrison running for member of council at large, with four to be elected. 
  •  The ballot issues for schools include an additional 9.5 mill levy for the Wyoming City School District, a 5.04 mill, 10-year tax levy for the Northwest Local School District (which includes part of Butler County), and a 4.82 mill substitute levy for the Oak Hills Local School District.
  •  Charter amendments for residency requirements and the board of zoning appeals in Madeira, an additional 3.4 million tax levy for police, and a local option on the sale of liquor in Cincinnati's Precinct 26-E, which is in Westwood.

Warren County:

  • A 4.84 mill renewal levy for Lebanon City Schools;
  • A 6.2 mill bond issue for Carlisle Schools;
  • A one mill renewal levy for Blanchester Local Schools (an overlap with Clinton County);
  •  A one mill renewal levy for Middletown Senior services (an overlap with Butler County);
  •  And a bond issue and tax levy for the Miami Valley Career Technology and Vocational Schools, which overlaps with other counties.

Butler County:

  •  One mill renewal of the Middletown Senior Services levy;
  • The bond issue and tax levy for the Miami Valley Career Technology and Vocational School, overlapping with other counties;
  • A part of the county will vote on the Northwest Local Schools levy, which was filed in Hamilton County;
  • And a portion of the county will vote on the Preble Shawnee Local Schools levy, which was filed in Preble County.

Clermont County:

  • 12.5 mill renewal levy for Fire and EMS in Milford; a city charter amendment in Amelia; and one precinct – Wayne Township A – will vote on the Blanchester Local School District levy.

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Howard Wilkinson joined the WVXU News Team after 30 years of covering local and state politics for The Cincinnati Enquirer. A native of Dayton, Ohio, Wilkinson has covered every Ohio governor’s race since 1974 as well as 12 presidential nominating conventions. His streak continued by covering both the 2012 Republican and Democratic conventions for 91.7 WVXU. Along with politics, Wilkinson also covered the 2001 Cincinnati race riots; the Lucasville Prison riot in 1993; the Air Canada plane crash at the Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport in 1983; and the 1997 Ohio River flooding. The Cincinnati Reds are his passion. "I've been listening to WVXU and public radio for many years, and I couldn't be more pleased at the opportunity to be part of it,” he says.