Early voting has begun for Ohio's May 7 primary elections.
With no statewide questions or issues on the ballot, election watchers are expecting lower than usual voter turnouts to the polls.
Voters may vote in person at the Portage County Board of Elections, located in the county administration building at 449 S. Meridian St. in Ravenna, or they may print an absentee ballot application from the elections board website at www.co.portage.oh.us/election/absentee_voting-menu.htm and mail it to the board of elections.
Monday is the deadline to register to vote in the May 7 primary. Voters who have moved since the last election need to update their voting address. They can do that at MyOhioVote.com, a site maintained by the Ohio Secretary of State, or by contacting the Portage County Board of Elections.
The only issue that most voters in Portage will consider is the 0.4-mill replacement levy for the Portage County Health District. The district is seeking to reset its 57-year-old levy at current tax values. If the new levy is approved, the owner of a $100,000 home would pay $12.60 per year, up from the $2.60 per year paid now. The levy will appear on all ballots in the county except in Kent and Ravenna, which have their own health departments.
While there are no council primaries in either Aurora or Streetsboro, there is a council at-large primary in Kent among Democratic candidates looking to fill three seats. The top three of four candidates competing will go on to the November general election.
No Republican candidates for council at-large filed for the ballot in Kent.
Ravenna has a nonpartisan Ward 1 council primary where two of three candidates will go on to the general election.
Local issues on the ballot are:
Kent City School District is seeking an additional 8.9 mills for current expenses. If the continuing levy passes, a homeowner would pay an additional $272.56 per year on a $100,000 home. The school district's previous levy was passed in 2006.
Aurora voters will decide a 1.2-mill, five-year additional tax levy for police protection
Hiram Township voters will face a 2-mill, five-year replacement levy for fire protection.
Paris will decide a 1-mill, five-year additional levy for current expenses.
Windham Village voters will consider a 0.5-mill income tax hike for police, street maintenance and other services.
Suffield residents in the Mogadore school district will vote on an additional 5.9-mill levy for current expenses.
In Kent, residents of Ward 5, Precinct A, will vote on a local option for Bar 145, a new downtown restaurant, which wants Sunday sales of wine, mixed beverages and spirituous liquor.
Contact this reporter at 330-298-1125 or email@example.com