Primary voting expected to be lowest of four years

CINCINNATI, OH (FOX19) - On Tuesday dozens of local races, school issues and tax levies will be decided in Ohio, but voter turnout is expected to be the lowest it's been in four years.

FOX19's Gordon Graham talked to some political experts about why this primary election matters.

This primary race does matter for Democratic and Republican candidates, but the party heads in Hamilton County tell FOX19 that few people are paying attention.

Hamilton County Democratic party Chairman, Tim Burke, says getting voters to care is a tough sell.

"Boy, it's difficult obviously. It's particularly difficult for the candidates who are out working very hard, knocking on doors, spending money, sending mailers out trying to get people's attention, but it's difficult in a primary," Burke explained.

Hamilton County GOP Chairman, Alex Triantafilou, says there are good reasons people should care about primary elections.

"There's some critical decisions to be made, again State Issue One is one important decision," he said. State Issue One would fund local infrastructure capital improvements like roads and bridges through a state bond issue without raising taxes.

"In these primary contests if you're affiliated with either political party you get to decide what candidates represent your party in the general election,"Triantafilou said.

Burke says recent changes in Ohio election law is hurting turnout numbers.

"We were prohibited from sending out early voting applications to all the voters in Hamilton County. We'd done that four years ago and as a result, at this point prior to the primary four years ago we were at 45-thousand voters, this year I don't think we're at ten thousand," said Burke.

"I think it's important that we all exercise our right to vote," said Tri-State resident Helen Lester-Smith.

I haven't planned yet because I didn't know anything much about it so I'll find out what's going on and then we'll see," said However Sana Reyes.

Donald Burt of Madisonville says it's important to be involved in the electoral process.

"Yeah because I believe in voting on the issues because possibly there could be changes. I believe my vote counts just like everybody else," Burt said.

County elections officials say everyone's vote does matter to ensure that the strongest candidates from both parties are the ones who confront each other in the November election.

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