DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) – Boards of elections across the Miami Valley are reporting lower than expected voter turnout Tuesday afternoon.
A slow, but steady stream of voters still went to Cox Arboretum to vote in the primary election Tuesday. Many of these voters said they make it a point to cast their ballots every chance they can.
“We try to vote for every election,” voter Joe Wynne said. “We think it’s important that we should do, and if you don’t vote, you can’t blame anybody.”
Montgomery County Board of Elections Director Jeff Rezabek said county elections officials are waiting on the turnout numbers to come in once polls close, but it’s a little less than expected.
Early and absentee voting in the county only brought in 2.5% turnout.
“With a couple of races that were out there on the Republican and Democratic side, we thought it would be a slightly better turnout, especially in the early voting, maybe there will be a comeback today,” Rezabek said.
In Miami County, polling locations were reporting 4 percent turnout Tuesday afternoon, far from the county’s 20% estimate. Early and absentee had a 3.5% turnout.
“It’s disappointing,” Miami County Board of Elections Director Laura Bruns said. “It’s kind of like you’re hosting a big party and you’re inviting all your friends and neighbors and then very few people actually show up.”
Bruns said it’s hard to pinpoint what’s led to lower numbers at the polls, but confusion over redistricting may have been a factor.
“I think a lot of people were confused about this election, not knowing whether it was happening or not,” Bruns said.
Clark County reported a 11% voter turnout Tuesday afternoon, but election officials were expecting closer to 40% turnout.
Voters say getting their vote in this election is just as important as any other election, since the primary determines who will be on the ballot in November.
“Because you’ve got the diversity with the cultural changes, and opinions are changing, and so if you want to stay in sync with that, and you want to have an opinion, then you need to get out and vote,” voter Mark Briley said.
“If you have definite needs and you have definite wants, you need to make sure that that the people that are dealing with your kids, your property, and your life and the things that you do, I think that becomes significantly important,” voter Roxanna Leycox said.
Greene County Board of Elections Director Alisha Beeler said they expected this with the confusion surrounding redistricting, but through it all, everything’s running smoothly at the polls.
“We’ve been working so hard with all the curveballs we’ve been thrown, everyone’s stepped up to the plate, and we’re hitting a grand slam,” Beeler said.