Steve Witham hopes he’s wrong, but he predicted Friday that turnout in Tuesday’s election could be as low as 9 or 10 percent of registered voters.
Witham, elections administrator for the Highland County Board of Elections, added, “I’d love to see more.”
The only item on Tuesday’s ballot involving all voters in the county is the additional 1-mill, 10-year levy sought by the Paint Valley Alcohol, Drug Addiction and Mental Health (ADAMH) services.
Witham said Tuesday that if there is a low turnout, it won’t be because Paint Valley tried to sneak the levy in under voters’ radar. He noted that Paint Valley has sent at least two fliers in the mail to voters, and the election board mailed more than 12,000 notices to voters affected by temporary changes involving precincts that are being combined for Tuesday’s election.
So far, just 436 early ballots had been requested or cast as of Friday afternoon, said Witham, including 259 in-person voters at the election board office.
Aside from the Paint Valley levy, the only other ballot item will be for Republican voters in Hillsboro City Council’s 4th Ward who will decide a primary race between Joe Mahan and Jason Grove. As of Friday afternoon, just 35 early ballots had been cast or requested in that contest, Witham said.
Technically, only the 4th Ward Hillsboro council race is a primary election, while the Paint Valley levy is a special election, although they are coinciding.
A Miami Trace school district renewal levy appearing on the ballot in a Fairfield East precinct bordering Fayette County will include just two eligible Highland County voters.
Remaining early in-person voting hours at the election board are: Saturday, 8 a.m.-4 p.m.; Sunday, 1 p.m.-5 p.m.; and Monday, 8 a.m.-2 p.m. The last time the board can accept a request for an absentee ballot for the primary to be mailed to a voter is Saturday at noon.
Questions can be directed to the election board at 937-393-9961.
Reach Gary Abernathy at 937-393-3456 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.