The deadline to register to vote in the March 15 primary election is Tuesday, Feb. 16, the Highland County Board of Elections reminded residents this week, and early voting starts Feb. 17.
On Feb. 16, the board of elections office will have extended hours from 8 a.m. until 9 p.m. Voter registration forms are available at the board office, local public library, Bureau of Motor Vehicles or the county treasurer’s office, election officials said.
Republican and Democratic voters in Highland County and across Ohio will be deciding nominees for the fall election ranging from president to county commission, as well as Republicans electing central committee members.
In the presidential race, Democratic candidates on the ballot in Ohio will be Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders and Roque De La Fuente, a San Diego businessman.
On the GOP ballot in Ohio will be the state’s governor, John Kasich, as well as Jeb Bush, Ben Carson, Chris Christie, Ted Cruz, Carly Fiorina, Marco Rubio and Donald J. Trump, along with Rick Santorum, Mike Huckabee and Rand Paul, even though Santorum, Huckabee and Paul have suspended their campaigns.
U.S. Senate candidates on the Democratic ballot will be Ted Strickland, Kelli Prather and P.J. Sittenfield. On the GOP side, voters will choose between incumbent Rob Portman and challenger Don Eckhart.
For U.S. Congress in the 2nd District, three Democrats will be on the ballot – Russ Hurley, Ronny Richards and William R. Smith. On the Republican ballot will be incumbent Brad Wenstrup and challenger Jim Lewis.
Locally, there are a number of unopposed races. One exception is the race for Highland County commissioner, where Terry Britton and Barb Cole are vying for the GOP nomination to fill the open seat being vacated by the retirement of Tom Horst. Shane Wilkin is running unopposed for re-election.
Democratic candidate Tara Campbell is running unopposed in the Democratic primary for the county commission seat currently held by Horst, and will face the winner of the Britton-Cole race. No Democrat filed for Wilkin’s seat on the county commission.
Issues that will appear on the ballot include a Brushcreek Township Cemetery levy for an additional, 0.1 mills for five years, a Liberty Township Cemetery levy for an additional, 0.1 mills for five years, a Marshall Township Cemetery levy for an additional, 0.1 mills for five years, and a Fayetteville Perry Local School District levy for an additional 7.65 mills for 10 years.
“If you are already a current registered voter and need to update your address you can go to update online,” according to a press release from the election board. “To register to vote in Highland County, you must be a current resident of Highland County, 18 years or older and a U.S. citizen. If you have any questions, contact the Highland County Board of Elections.”
Also, early voting begins Wednesday, Feb. 17. Early in-person voting is at the election board office at Suite 200 of the Hi-Tec Center, 1575 N. High St. in Hillsboro. The hours of operation are:
• Weeks one and two of voting (beginning with the day after the close of registration for the election, except any holiday established by state law) – 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.
• Week three of voting – 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday; 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday.
• Week four of voting – 8:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. Monday through Friday; 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. on the Saturday before Election Day; 1-5 p.m. on the Sunday before Election Day.
• Week of Election Day – 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. on the Monday before Election Day.
“If there are any in-person absentee voters waiting in line when voting ends on a particular day during the in-person absentee voting period, the in-person voting location shall be kept open until those voters who were in line when the location closed for the day have cast a ballot,” according to the press release.
Questions can be directed to the Highland County Board of Elections at 937-393-9961.