Editorial: Don’t be deterred from voting in Tuesday’s election by confusion, partisan sniping


A recent editorial by the Cleveland Plain Dealer:

Yes, Ohio’s 2022 primary is a mess. The constitutionality of the congressional map guiding the May 3 primary U.S. House contests is being litigated. State legislative contests have been yanked off the Tuesday ballot for an as-yet-to-be-scheduled second primary. Voters who thought absentee-ballot applications would be mailed to them, as happened two years ago, have waited in vain. (Voters need to request absentee ballot applications themselves.) …

All this has led to unprecedented confusion and headaches for voters and election workers, not to mention the candidates themselves.

But there’s still time to vote early in-person. There’s still the opportunity to request an absentee ballot and complete it. You can still vote close to home on Tuesday.

And here’s the critical bottom line: Important statewide, county, and judicial elections are on the May 3 primary ballot that will decide which candidates advance to November. Ballot issues that affect your hometown and schools also are before voters. Don’t give up your ability to have a say.

Voters will also decide important congressional contests on May 3 — including the 11th Congressional District Democratic primary between U.S. Rep. Shontel Brown and former state Sen. Nina Turner. Given the overwhelmingly Democratic character of this Cuyahoga County congressional district, the primary will likely decide that House seat. Then there’s the seven-way Republican primary in a potentially swing 13th Congressional District in Summit and parts of Stark and Portage counties that includes a large crop of first-time GOP candidates.

Voters just have to look beyond the ongoing partisan recriminations over redistricting, grit their teeth, arm themselves with facts and forge forth to vote and make a difference for Ohio.

In other words, don’t let your anger at having to vote in still-unresolved congressional districts or at the politicians who created this mess deter you. Focus instead on your choices. … You’ll know you gave it your best shot when you could.

The falloff in voter interest in this primary is alarming. Statewide, early-voting numbers as of last week are down 17% from four years ago, cleveland.com’s Andrew J. Tobias reports. There’s been an even steeper dive for ballots requested by Democrats — down 24% statewide while Republican early voting is up a tad from this time four years ago, Tobias notes.

… Granted, some of the state’s highest-profile primary contests are on the GOP side — including a seven-way Republican race for the U.S. Senate nomination and a four-way GOP primary race for governor. But two strong candidates are contesting the Democratic primary for governor. …

So don’t let the confusion make you a vote bench-sitter. Early in-person voting continues from today until Monday at 2 p.m. at local county boards of elections. Absentee ballots can be requested until Saturday but will need to be postmarked by Monday or dropped off at your local board of elections by 7:30 p.m. on May 3, primary day. And of course, you can also vote in person on Tuesday at your local polling place.

Seize this opportunity to make your voice heard in the May 3 primary this year, despite the impediments and confusion.

— Cleveland Plain Dealer, April 29