Voters in Delaware County will have their say today at the ballot box about their government at the local, state and federal level.
Polls for the general election are open from 6:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. although early voting for Ohio began in mid-October. In Delaware County 43,255 people have voted either in-person or by mail as of Monday afternoon and projected to reach 44,000 by the end of the day.
“It’s been a really nice flow,” said Karla Herron, director of the Delaware County Board of Elections.
“We’re expecting high turnout on Election Day.”
The presidency is up for the taking with Democrat nominee Hillary Clinton ahead of Republican nominee Donald Trump, 44-41 percent, followed by Libertarian candidate Gary Johnson (4 percent) and Green party candidate Jill Stein (2 percent), according to the final Bloomberg Politics poll.
In Ohio, Trump leads Clinton, 46-39 percent, with Johnson at 7 percent and Stein at 2.3 percent, according to a poll by Emerson.
In addition, there are 18 candidates that are certified in Ohio as write-in votes for the presidency. Write-in votes for anyone else will not count in this election.
Delaware has received some attention during this year’s campaign. The county traditionally votes Republican and gave gave 61 percent of its votes to Republican Mitt Romney in 2012 and 59 percent to John McCain in 2008. Former President Bill Clinton spoke at Delaware County Fairgrounds in mid-October on behalf of his wife to sway voters, while Trump himself hosted a local rally the following week.
Ohio voters will also decide who represents them in the U.S. Senate. Former Ohio Democratic Gov. Ted Strickland is challenging Republican Rob Portman’s seat in the U.S. Senate. Portman is ahead of Strickland, 49-28 percent, according to an Emerson poll.
Aside from the presidential race, there are several local issues on the ballot within Delaware County:
City of Delaware’s road levy, charter amendments
Delaware city residents will decide whether to approve a 0.15-percent income tax increase to improve and maintain local infrastructure. If approved, the income tax would increase from 1.85 percent to 2 percent and cost $75 per year for a family with an annual household income of $50,000.
Residents will also decide to approve 34 amendments to the city’s charter. As required every eight years by the same document, a review commission of nine electors was formed to review the charter and make recommendations to Council, which approved them in July.
Big Walnut $133.9-million bond issue
Big Walnut Local School District’s 8.3-mil, $133.9-million bond issue would add new taxes of $290.50 per year for each $100,000 of property market value, retroactive to Jan. 2016. The ballot language said the bond would be repaid annually over a maximum 37-year period. The district would used the bond for a new high school to accommodate student population growth.
Orange Township road, parks levy
Orange Township trustees are asking voters to renew a 1-mill parks levy on top of a new road improvement levy at 0.5 mills. Township officials created the 0.5-mill road improvement levy by reducing the current 1.5-mill park levy due to expire this December. With both levies combined, Orange Township taxpayers would $0.15 for each $100 of valuation for three years commencing in 2016 and first due in 2017.
911 levy renewal
Delaware County’s proposed 911 levy is a renewal of the existing 0.45-mill levy with an increase of 0.18 mills, bringing the total to 0.63 mills. The 0.18-mill addition will generate $1,097,900 per year. A homeowner with a $100,000 market-value home currently pays $13.18 in taxes per year for the current levy. The 0.18-mill increase on the levy will cost that homeowner an additional $6.30 per year, according to county officials.
Mental health levy
The Delaware-Morrow Mental Health & Recovery Services Board has a 1-mil, 5-year renewal levy. The levy makes up 84 percent of the board’s budget and amounts to $0.10 for each $100 of valuation.
State Representatives District 67
Two Powell residents are running for the 67th District seat in the Ohio House of Representatives. Janet Breneman is the Democratic Party’s nominee running opposing Republican incumbent Andrew Brenner.
State Representatives District 68
Three candidates are on the ballot for the 68th District State Representative race to replace incumbent Republican Margaret Ann Ruhl, who will vacate her seat due to term limits. The three candidates, who all live in Delaware County, are Republican Rick Carfagna, Democrat John Russell and write-in candidate Douglas Crowl, who identifies as a constitutional conservative.
U.S. Congressional District 12
Delaware resident John Baumeister is running against incumbent Patrick Tiberi, R-Genoa Township, who is seeking re-election for the 12th Congressional District seat in the the U.S. House. Baumeister is a write-in candidate. Tiberi has served in that seat since 2000.
D. Anthony Botkin, Gary Budzak and Lenny C. Lepola contributed to this report.
Brandon Klein can be reached at 740-413-0904 or on Twitter at @brandoneklein.