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Election officials predict ‘extremely light’ turnout

Published: Mon, March 5, 2012 @ 12:00 a.m.

By David Skolnick



If you go to the polls to vote in Tuesday’s primary in the Mahoning Valley, don’t worry about long lines.

Area election officials expect about two-thirds of registered voters not to bother casting ballots in the primary.

“It will be extremely light; we’ll struggle to get to 30 percent,” said Adam Booth, Columbiana County Board of Elections director. “I’d be shocked if it crept up to the mid-30s or into the 40s. There’s nothing driving” turnout.

Thomas McCabe, Mahoning County Board of Elections director, is expecting turnout in Mahoning to be 32 percent, “and that could be high. That’s being generous.”

In Trumbull County, turnout for Tuesday’s primary will be about 30 percent to 35 percent, said Kelly Pallante, its board of elections director.

The top reason for expected poor turnout, McCabe and Booth said, is no Democratic presidential primary. President Barack Obama runs unopposed.

“A Democratic presidential primary in Mahoning County drives up turnout,” McCabe said. “There are not a large number of Republicans [in the county]. Even the Republicans I speak to haven’t focused on a candidate.”

There are contested races — most notably for county prosecutor, sheriff and a commissioner seat being vacated by John McNally IV — and Mahoning is one of the most Democratic counties in the state. But McCabe doesn’t expect many ballots will be cast.

Turnout during the March 4, 2008, primary, which had a Democratic presidential race between Obama and Hillary Rodham Clinton, was much higher in the Mahoning Valley than the expected turnout for Tuesday, which has a four-man Republican presidential primary.

In the 2008 primary, turnout in Mahoning County was 55.6 percent, it was 56.6 percent in Trumbull and 46.8 percent in Columbiana.

Also, early voting is down considerably in the three counties for this primary compared to four years ago.

There are about 5,800 early voters in Mahoning County for this primary compared to 16,017 in 2008. In Trumbull County, there are about 4,000 early voters for this primary compared to 9,521 in 2008. In Columbiana County, there are about 1,300 early voters for this primary compared to about 2,000 four years ago.

Early “voting is a microcosm of the overall election,” Booth said. “That’s why I expect turnout to be low. There’s nothing countywide on the Democratic end” except for county recorder and the 6th Congressional District.

Before early voting started on Jan. 31, Pallante expected about 15,000 people to cast ballots that way.

“I really thought based on the type of year we were in, with it being a presidential year, the number would be higher,” Pallante said. “It puzzles me that we haven’t hawd more voters.”


1Delphisalariedretirees(76 comments)posted 4 years, 4 months ago

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2young2012(10 comments)posted 4 years, 4 months ago

Not only in social issues is Santorum strong but also in national security & foreign policy better than any one of the remaining candidates. Please read online his Iran freedom & Support Act & the Syrian Accountability Act which he authored in 2004. Romney is applying for the top job in the government sector. He was a successful business man in the private sector. Santorum is the successful man in the government sector, the sector to which Romney is applying for the top job. In the government sector; Santorum has a better experience than Romney. Romney accuses Santorum’s vote for earmarks (something done legally) while receiving earmarks for Utah Olympic Games and other projects in Massachusetts. Santorum has national security and foreign policy experience unlike Romney. Santorum has legal victories in social issues unlike Romney. Santorum is more believable unlike Romney & Newt and Ron Paul.

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3young2012(10 comments)posted 4 years, 4 months ago

Critics hit Romney job-creation record
Cite workers that left Massachusetts on Washington Times 02/27/12.
On Romney's job creation & unemployment rate reduction, please go to this website. The website states his claims are not true.
please read the following comment originally posted in azcental.com on
sunnyday6 Feb-27 @ 5:53 PM
Breaking News: Romney Lied During the Last Debate
This is only an issue because Romney has made it an issue by being pro-choice in MA and then flip flopping by claiming to be pro-life now. According to fact checkers Mitt Romney lied during his last debate. His health care plan did require the Catholic church to pay for free abortions and he did not consult church leaders yet he complains about Obama's health care plan for the same thing. What else will he lie about?
He whines about federal spending yet he used 6 million of it to pay for rearranging the lawn chairs for the Olympics and his Confederate buddy Ron Paul spent 398 million a year. Now Paul is in trouble with a campaign donor for double dipping for travel expenses.
Romney whines about No Child Left Behind yet he supported it in 2006. H...e is such a hypocrite.
Romney whines about Arlen Specter but he voted for Paul Songas. What a hypocrite.
Breaking News: Confederate Kook Ron Paul Working for Romney
Ron Paul claims to like Ronald Reagan yet he has said "Ronald Reagan is a failure" and the "CIA deals drugs." Not only are his racist newsletters everywhere but now it is out there that his mentors were Confederates who hated Abraham Lincoln for keeping the union together. Now Romney is connected to extremists.
Profiting from the liquidation of businesses and rearranging the chairs at the Olympics does not qualify you to be president. He may pretend to be Mr. Main Street but we all know he is Mr Wall Street. Vote for Romney in any election? I don't think so.
Read more: http://www.azcentral.com/news/politic...

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4CBDactivist(125 comments)posted 4 years, 4 months ago

After so many years of voting demorcratic I am sorry to say it is time for change. I have seen my evil ways!

Time for Mitt

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5BIGDOG69(27 comments)posted 4 years, 4 months ago

Congrats for seeing the light CBDactivist... So many more need to follow your direction and help direct this county and country in the right direction.

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6VINDYAK(1824 comments)posted 4 years, 4 months ago

I also selected a Republican ticket. Mitt got my vote.

I have considered myself an Independent for many years, but this year's election is one of the most critical for us in many, many years.

Our country's direction is heading the wrong way and we must bring in many new leaders in Congress as well as the White House to turn this mess around.

Let's get this thing turned around. This is just the start.

Vote the bums out.

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