More than 22 percent of registered voters – 6,205 – cast or requested ballots early in Highland County, including 3,526 who voted in person at the election board.
Of the 2,679 ballots that were requested by mail, 96 percent have been returned, according to Steve Witham, elections administrator. There are 27,605 registered voters in Highland County going into the 2016 General Election, Witham said.
Early in-person voting picked up in recent days, with 199 casting votes at the election board during limited hours Sunday, and 299 showing up to vote Monday.
The race for Highland County Commissioner highlights the local ballot in this year’s General Election, with a Republican, a Democrat and an independent candidate vying for the seat currently held by Republican Tom Horst, who did not seek re-election.
Republican Terry Britton, Democrat Tara Campbell and independent Alex Butler are seeking the four-year term. Shane Wilkin, a Republican, is running uncontested for the other commission seat on the ballot.
A number of other Republican incumbents are also running uncontested for county offices, including: Anneka Collins, prosecutor; Dwight “Ike” Hodson, clerk of courts; Donnie Barrera, sheriff; Chad McConnaughey, recorder; Vicki Warnock, treasurer; Dean Otworth, engineer; and Jeff Beery, coroner.
In addition to Republican candidates Donald Trump and Mike Pence, and the Democratic ticket of Hillary Clinton and Tim Kaine for president and vice president, other candidates on the presidential ballot are independent Gary Johnson and running mate William Weld, Green Party candidate Jill Stein and running mate Ajamu Baraka, and non-party candidate Richard Duncan and running mate Ricky Johnson.
Republican incumbent Rob Portman and Democratic challenger Ted Strickland are on the U.S. Senate ballot, along with Tom Connors, Joseph DeMare and Scott Rupert.
Incumbent Republican Brad Wenstrup is seeking re-election to Congress from the 2nd District, against Democrat William Smith.
Nick Owens and Braydon Bevens are running for the state school board. John P. O’Donnell and Pat Fisher are squaring off for state Supreme Court justice. Cynthia Rice and Pat DeWine are running for another seat on the state high court. Matthew McFarland and Valarie Gerlach are squaring off for the 4th District Court of Appeals.
Voters are being asked to decide on two countywide issues, one being Issue 7, an additional 1 mill, 10-year levy for Paint Valley ADAMH, which also includes other counties, and Issue 8, an additional 1.9 mill, 5-year levy for Highland County for support of Children Services.
Other local levies include a 3 mill, 5-year additional levy for the village of Lynchburg for the police department, and a renewal of a 0.5 mill, 5-year cemetery levy for New Market Township. New Market Food Mart is seeking approval of a liquor option for Sunday sales. Union Township is asking for an additional 0.5 mill, 5-year cemetery levy.
The Clinton Highland Joint Fire District is seeking approval of a 4.3 mill, 5-year replacement levy for fire and emergency medical protection. Voters in the Fayetteville-Perry school district are being asked to approve a 0.5 percent income tax for current expenses.
Polls open at 6:30 a.m. Tuesday and close at 7:30 p.m. Check timesgazette.com for election returns Tuesday night.
Reach Gary Abernathy at 937-393-3456 or on Twitter @abernathygary.