Cincinnati mayoral primary has 5.6% voter turnout

Published: Sep. 10, 2013 at 7:39 PM EDT|Updated: Sep. 12, 2013 at 1:53 AM EDT
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CINCINNATI, OH (FOX19) - Democrats Johns Cranley and Roxanne Qualls, currently serving as vice-mayor, will square off this November.

The top two vote-getters were selected by voters who went to a precinct and cast a ballot in the Cincinnati mayoral primary -- all 11,545 of them.

According to the Hamilton County Board of Elections, there are currently 201,843 registered voters in the county, meaning Tuesday's primary election had a turnout of 5.6%.

We previously reported the mayoral primary comes with a $437,000 price tag for the City of Cincinnati. With this turnout, the election ended up costing more than $38 per registered voter.

Cincinnati City Council members Yvette Simpson and Wendell Young said the low voter turnout was disappointing but not surprising. They both feel it's time to take a closer look at how the mayoral primary is done.

Which also begs the question, is it necessary?

"Personally, I feel like if 500 people want to run, put them all on the ballot and let the voters figure it out. But I don't think spending this kind of money -- I think this equates to $35 or $36 per person. That is ridiculous," Young told FOX19.

The city charter was changed in 1999 so that the winning mayoral candidate would receive more than 50% of the vote.

"In cases where it is a smaller number, and where some candidates were clearly solid candidates, we should really evaluate whether or not it is worth it to trigger an election like this," Simpson added.

When we spoke with Board of Elections Deputy Director Sally Krisel Tuesday, she described turn-out as "really slow."

There were 175 precincts across the city taking part in the mayoral primary, meaning a lot of effort went into putting the election together.

"We hate to put in all this work not to have people vote," Krisel said.

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