Voter turnout down

Voter turnout down
YOUNGSTOWN -- Simply put, voter turnout was terrible Tuesday.
Statewide, turnout was 17 percent, well below the 27 percent predicted by Ohio Secretary of State J. Kenneth Blackwell.
Turnout in Mahoning County was 31 percent, much lower than the 42 percent predicted by Mahoning elections Director Michael Sciortino.
In Columbiana County, 24 percent of voters made it to the polls Tuesday. John Payne, board of elections director, had predicted 30 percent to 33 percent.
Voters in Trumbull County did slightly better than the 29 percent prediction by Norma Williams, Trumbull Board of Elections director. The final turnout was 30 percent.
Touch-screen voting
YOUNGSTOWN -- For the first time, voters in Youngstown used touch-screen electronic voting machines instead of the traditional paper ballots. The result was exceptionally positive, said Michael Sciortino, board of elections director. There were only a few problems with people using the electronic voting machines, he said. Come November, the entire county will vote on the new machines.
Confusing districts
YOUNGSTOWN -- The new congressional districts in Mahoning County caused some confusion for voters, said Michael Sciortino, director of the elections board. The board took a number of calls from voters who were not sure if they were voting for candidates in the 6th or the 17th Congressional Districts, he said.
Bad day for candidates
YOUNGSTOWN -- It was not a particularly good night for Republicans for Real Reform candidates running for precinct committee seats. The group failed to capture enough votes to unseat Mahoning GOP Chairman Clarence Smith. In two Youngstown precincts, Real Reform candidates ran for seats with no opposition from Smith supporters. But those candidates did not capture a single vote -- meaning they did not vote for themselves -- and thus those two precinct positions were not filled.
It runs in the family
YOUNGSTOWN -- The Hanni name isn't what it used to be. First, the Mark A. Hanni-formed Republicans for Real Reform did not do well Tuesday. Also, Hanni lost races for Republican precinct committeeman and state central committeeman. His sister, Holly, who is running for state Senate, was soundly defeated 51-12 in her Republican precinct committee race by a candidate who had withdrawn. But, because her opponent was no longer in the race, she will fill the seat. Their brother, Don L. Hanni III, was pounded 102-50 in his Democratic precinct committee race by Youngstown Councilman Michael R. Rapovy. To make the evening a perfect zero for the Hannis, their father, Don L. Hanni Jr., a former longtime Mahoning Democratic chairman, lost his Democratic precinct committee race 91-41 to Geraldine Tkac, a political novice.

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