DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) – Polls have officially opened in Ohio for the May primary. Officials are hopeful that voters will still come out to the polls regardless of the weather Tuesday.

Ohio Secretary of State Frank LaRose said early voting turnout was down at the start of the election cycle but they’ve seen an increase as the weeks passed.

“In many ways, the primaries set the tone and direction for both parties so it’s important that voters get out there and make their voices heard in this election,” said LaRose.

Voters were allowed into the polls at 6:30 on Tuesday, marking the beginning of primary voting. LaRose has been traveling around to all boards of elections preparing workers for the May primaries. However, state representatives, state Senate and state central committees will not be on the ballot this year for Ohioans due to redrawing redistricting maps. LaRose said the second voting primary will most likely be August 2.

“It’s unfortunate that we ended up having to have a split primary like this,” said LaRose. “The second one will be later in the summer, not 100 percent sure yet but will most likely be August 2nd. That date will eventually be set by the state legislature or federal court.”

Montgomery County Board of Elections (BOE) said they are fully staffed for the May primary but will never turn down extra help.

“Yes, we have everything staffed at this point,” said Director of Montgomery County BOE Jeff Rezabek. “We have a little extra workers to juggle things if people get sick or can’t make an appearance, we have that covered.”

LaRose estimates in 2020, Ohio had 56,000 poll workers ready. However this year, that number was nearly cut in half at an estimated 30,000 poll workers across the state. Overall, over 4,000 polling locations are ready to serve Ohioans.

“Invariably, there will be people who have their conspiracy theories and that kind of thing, the bottom line is in Ohio we make it easy to vote but hard to cheat,” said LaRose.

Polls opened at 6:30 Tuesday morning and will stay open until 7:30 p.m.