Primary results will set Nov. races

The May primary election is Tuesday and candidates for state, local, and national officers will be vying for the chance to represent their party on November’s election ticket.

Turnout is expected to be relatively light this year, as few contested races under the state level appear on the ballot.

As of Friday afternoon, 872 absentee ballots had been cast. That is slightly over half the 1,575 absentee ballots that were cast during the last even-year, non-presidential primary in 2010, said Washington County Board of Elections director Tara Hupp.

“Unless we have a large increase, we’re looking at low numbers,” said Hupp.

That is not stopping the board from being fully prepared for what Tuesday may bring. Polling locations in the county’s 50 precincts will open at 6:30 a.m. election day and will stay open until 7:30 p.m.

As always, 196 poll workers will staff the polling locations, and extra poll workers have been trained, said Peggy Byers, deputy director of the board.

“It takes 196, and we trained a little bit over 210,” said Byers.

As this will be the first time the new electronic poll books are used in a primary, the BOE conducted in person training to familiarize poll workers with the technology, said Byers.

“It’s their first experience with a primary and choosing a party,” said Byers.

This year’s primary will feature five ballot styles, one each for Democratic, Republican, Libertarian, and Green party candidates. It will also feature an issues-only ballot.

Washington County residents still have a small window Saturday to cast an in-person absentee ballot, said Hupp.

“We’ll be open from 8 a.m. to noon,” said Hupp of Saturday’s in person voting hours at the Board of Elections Office.

The office is located at 204 Davis Ave., near Marietta High School, Hupp reminded voters.

Saturday by noon is also the deadline for requesting that an absentee ballot be mailed. Mailed absentee ballots must be postmarked by Monday and have ten days to reach the board office. Absentee voters who requested a ballot by mail can alternatively hand deliver ballots to the board office by the close of the polls at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, said Hupp.

Voters unsure of their precinct can find it on the using the “Poll Workers & Polling Places” link at the BOE

One state issue will appear on the ballot. Voters will determine whether the state will be allowed to issue $1.86 billion bond for local infrastructure projects over the next five years.

Voters in Warren and Belpre school districts each will decide on a levy.

Warren Local School District is asking for a renewal of an emergency levy at 5.54 mills. Unlike in previous years, when the levy has been presented for a five-year renewal term, this year Warren Local is asking for a ten-year renewal.

Belpre is also seeking a ten-year renewal of its emergency levy, which is set at At 3.65 mills.

Voters in Belpre’s 2A precinct will also have the option to approve or deny the sale of liquor and Sunday alcohol sales at Napolis.

The two Republican candidates for Washington County commissioner have a busy weekend planned as the election draws near.

“I am going to every event I can. I am going door to door. I’m going to be meeting everyone I can,” said candidate Jeremy Barton, of Coal Run.

Barton plans to attend Lowell’s Springfest, the Barlow Spring Fair, and the Beverly-Waterford Community Yard Sale all leading up to a quiet election night to be spent with his daughter, he said.

Commissioner candidate Rick Walters also plans to attend Lowell’s Springfest.

“My wife and son and I are going to be in the parade and pass out little candies to kids and pass out postcards with my campaign information,” he said.

Walters, also a Coal Run resident, said he is looking forward to seeing what election day will bring.