Ballots set for November election

Judge, commissioner races to be voted on in Washington County

Washington County residents will have pretty similar ballots throughout the county this November, barring a couple of alcohol issues and levies.

All registered voters in the county will decide between two common pleas court judge candidates, two county auditor candidates and two county commissioner candidates.

Magistrate Shoshanna Brooker is the Democratic candidate running against Republican John Triplett for judge.

Kevin Ritter is the Republican candidate running against Democrat Jim Raney for commissioner.

Leslie Pittenger is the Independent candidate running against Republican Matthew Livengood for auditor.

Outside of those candidates, half the county will select a new 95th District State Representative to replace Andy Thompson who has served the maximum terms allowed in the Ohio House of Representatives, four consecutive two-year elected terms. In his place, either Dan Milleson, a Democrat, or Dan Jones, a Republican, will take the reigns on Jan. 1.

Likewise in the 94th District, Ohio Rep. Jay Edwards, a Republican, is running for a second term, this time against Taylor Sappington, a Democrat.

Issues

The big ticket item for Marietta residents is the levy to increase the city income tax from 1.7 percent of earned income for those who live and/or work in the city to a 1.85 percent tax.

Marietta City Council’s Finance Committee discussed last week the strategy the International Association of Fire Fighters’ local chapter plans to use as they promote the levy over the next two months.

They said the highlights include a need for new equipment for the fire department and the increased number of runs for the squad, and Councilman Mike McCauley and Finance Committee Chairman Mike Scales also pointed to streets projects which may only be completed next year if the additional levy money is available to leverage federal and state dollars for asphalt paving and hillside stabilization projects.

“It’s about being able to provide better service for the city,” said City Auditor Sherri Hess on Monday.

Additional revenues, according to Assistant Safety-Service Director Bill Dauber, would be divvied one-third to streets and two-thirds to the fire department.

“The levy increase will provide an estimated $950,700 in additional revenues for 2019,” said Dauber. “The fire department would receive $633,801 with the remaining $316,900 going to the streets fund.”

Meanwhile, in Belpre, voters will decide whether or not to allow Kroger to operate as a state-licensed liquor agency, without Sunday sales.

“It’s just for them to become a liquor store for the state,” noted Board of Elections Director Mandy Amos Monday. The Ohio Department of Commerce announced last November that 15 to 20 new contract liquor agencies would be allowed across the state, one of the areas opened was in Belpre.

Last year Kroger spokesman John Lambert said the grocery store was considering applying and the chain has since filed its paperwork.

“There was also a petition for Sunday sales but the board took that off the ballot because it didn’t give the correct hours,” added Amos Monday. “That would have to appear on another ballot in the future if they want to sell on Sundays and if this one passes.”

In the Muskingum East precinct residents will get the option to vote on Sunday mixed drink and wine sales for a store in the township.

“The Miller AM/PM gas station is on that ballot for Sunday sales,” confirmed Amos. “They already have a liquor license but no Sundays.”

The gas station is located on the western side of Exit 6 off of Interstate 77.

And in Watertown Township, a 2-mill renewal levy is on the ballot for ambulance service and/or emergency medical service. A 2-mill levy would cost the owner of a $100,000 home $70 a year.

Polling location changes

Last month the board also announced that certain polling locations would be consolidated, though the number of precincts would stay the same in the county.

Then last week Deputy Director Peggy Byers said a special board meeting was called and one consolidation decision was changed.

“Salem Township showed up in full force,” she mentioned Monday. “And someone from Aurelius came too.”

The concern voiced last week was that the original plan to consolidate Aurelius, Salem and Liberty township voters into one location at the Liberty Township Building was too far of a drive for the residents outside of that township.

Amos said Aurelius has approximately 230 registered voters, Salem has approximately 600 registered voters and Liberty Township has approximately 300 registered voters.

Now Salem and Aurelius voters will vote at the Salem Township building, 9320 State Route 821, Lower Salem.

The initial consolidation was made to accommodate the smaller numbers of poll workers in recent years and prepare for predicted additional costs in new voting machines. Liberty Township will now be the only precinct which has its own location.

Election Calendar:

• Look up individual precinct ballots at bit.ly/WashingtonCountyballots to review specific issues and candidates.

• Sept. 22: Military and Overseas Absentee Voting begins.

• Oct. 9: Deadline for Voter Registration for the Nov.. 6 General Election. Washington County Board of Elections office open 8 a.m. to 9 p.m.

• Oct. 10:

• Absentee voting by mail begins.

• Early in-person voting begins, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday-Friday at the Washington County Board of Elections office.

• Oct. 27: Early in-person voting 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.

• Oct. 29 – Nov. 2: Early in-person voting 8 a.m. to 7 p.m.

• Nov. 3:

• Early in-person voting, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.

• Deadline to request an absentee ballot by mail, noon.

• Nov. 4: Early in-person voting 1-5 p.m.

• Nov. 5:

• Early in-person voting, 8 a.m. to 2 p.m.

• Absentee ballot postmark deadline.

• Nov. 6:

• General Election, polls open 6:30 a.m. – 7:30 p.m.

• Absentee ballots accepted as drop-offs at the Board of Elections office until 7:30 p.m.

New polling locations:

• Search by address at bit.ly/pollspot to review where to vote on Election Day.

Who’s moving where:

• Aurelius Township and Salem Township precincts are to vote at the Salem Township Building, 9320 State Route 821, Lower Salem.**

** This is a change from the August announcement of changed polling locations.

• Lowell/Adams Township precinct is joining the Beverly/Waterford precinct and the Waterford A precinct at the Beverly Volunteer Fire Department, 400 Seventh St., Beverly.

• Fearing Township precinct is joining residents in Marietta’s 1A, 1B and 3A precincts at the First Church of the Nazarene, 100 Mill Creek Road, Marietta.

• Muskingum Township West precinct, notably Oak Grove residents, will now vote at the Knights of Columbus Hall, 312 Franklin St., Marietta, with residents of Harmar and Harmar Hill (Marietta 4A, 4B and West precincts.)

• Decatur Township and Wesley Township precincts are joining Barlow, Vincent, Dunham and Fairfield voters at the Lighthouse Baptist Church, 8135 State Route 339, Vincent.

• Ludlow Township precinct is joining Matamoras/Grandview precinct voters at the New Matamoras Public Library, 101 Merchant St., New Matamoras.

• Independence Township and Lawrence Township precincts are joining Newport Township precinct voters at the Newport United Methodist Church, 420 Greene St., Newport.

• Warren South precinct is joining Warren Northeast and Northwest precincts at the Pinehurst Christian Church, 20307 State Route 550, Marietta.

• Muskingum Township East precinct, notably Devola residents, will now vote at the Washington County Fairgrounds, 103 Fair Ave., Marietta, with residents of Marietta’s 2A, 2B, 3B, 3C and 4C precincts.

• Palmer Township precinct is joining Watertown precinct voters at the Watertown Volunteer Fire Department, 12725 State Route 676, Waterford.

What hasn’t changed:

• All Belpre and Rockland East precincts will continue to vote at the Belpre Church of Christ, 2932 Washington Blvd., Belpre.

• Marietta East A-D precincts will continue to vote at the Marietta Township Recreation Center, 260 Sandhill Road, Reno.

• Little Hocking and Rockland West precincts will continue to vote at the Porterfield Baptist Church, 39 Hollywood Drive, Little Hocking.

• Liberty precinct voters will remain at the Liberty Township building. 7530 Dalzell Road, Whipple.

Source: Washington County Board of Elections.

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