There are few contested primary election races or issues outside Washington County, but neighboring counties do have a few ballot items that may draw voters to the polls.
Monroe County has just a single contested race on the March 6 primary ballot while Noble County has three contested races and Morgan County has two.
"It's a little lacking, a little fewer than normal. I just don't know why there is less interest," said Noble County Board of Elections Director Donna Moore.
Noble County also has one county-wide issue on the ballot as well as issues in Elk Township and Summerfield Village.
Residents of Noble County will vote on an additional 0.3-mill tax levy for the purpose of programs and services related to the Noble Soil and Water Conservation District.
The levy amounts to 3 cents for each $100 of valuation for five years, with the levy beginning in calendar year 2013. The levy would cost the owner of a $100,000 home approximately $9.19 a year.
Area races, issues
Issues and contested races in Morgan, Monroe and Noble Counties:
Monroe County: Democratic county recorder, Ann Block and Sheila L. Stollar.
Morgan County: Republican County Commissioner, Dean Cain and Michael W. Chapin; Republican county treasurer, Shirley R. Bellville and Dawn M. Hosom.
Noble County: County-wide 0.3-mill additional levy for Noble Soil and Water Conservation District; Summerfield Village 4.0-mill additional expense levy; Elk Township 2.0-mill renewal operating levy; Democratic county commissioner, Bob Nau and Walt McKee; Democratic county treasurer, Marilyn Bond and Karrie Walters; Republican county recorder, Scott Wiley and Juanita Matheney
In Elk Township, a renewal operating levy at the rate of 2.0 mills is up for vote. Summerfield village residents will vote on an additional tax levy at a rate of 4.0 mills to help cover current expenses of the village.
The Summerfield levy would cost the owner of a $100,000 home approximately $122.50 while the Elk Township levy would cost that same home owner roughly $61.25.
Contested races in Noble County include the race for county commissioner, where incumbent Bob Nau is running against Walt McKee on the Democratic ticket.
"I think I've made a difference for Noble County and I'd like to continue on," Nau said.
McKee is a former Noble County commissioner who served eight years but elected not to run for a third term. McKee is a former teacher at Shenandoah High School.
"My whole life has been public service and I decided I'd try it again. I'm sorta retired, but I don't like retirement as far as sitting around. I want to be working and I think I can be of service to my county again," McKee said.
The county treasurer race between Marilyn Bond and Karrie Walters on the Democratic ticket as well as the county recorder race between Scott Wiley and Juanita Matheney on the Republican ticket are also contested.
The lack of candidates in the primary is a little surprising, Moore said, given in two of those races the incumbent is not running for re-election.
"I just couldn't believe there were that few running, especially for treasurer and recorder when the incumbents are not running," Moore said.
The low turnout in candidates is reflected with voters as well.
"Our absentee voting is very slow. We have had as many as 2,000 in a primary. We don't even have 500 yet," Moore said.
The same is true in Monroe County, which has just a single contested race.
"We're ranging around 500 (absentee ballots) right now," said Monroe County Board of Elections Director Betty Rousenberg.
The only contested race in Monroe County is the recorders race on the Democratic ticket where Ann Block is running against Sheila L. Stollar.
Unlike Noble County, Monroe County does not typically have a lot of contested races during a primary election, Rousenberg said.
The former county recorder, Martha Reid, retired on Sept. 30, leaving the position vacant. One of the two deputy recorders retired just prior to that, leaving Stollar, of 101 Olin Drive, Woodsfield, as the only hold-over in the office.
"I was a deputy recorder there for over 12 years. That's why I'm running for this," Stollar said.
Block, of 36501 County Road 2 East, Woodsfield, could not be reached for comment Thursday.
In Morgan County there are two contested races for the primary, with both of them on the Republican ticket.
Dean Cain and Michael W. Chapin are both seeking the nod for county commissioner while Shirley R. Bellville and Dawn M. Hosom are running for the county treasurer.