Originally published May 7, 2018 at midnight, updated May 8, 2018 at 9:09 a.m.
It’s sad to say, but Tuesday promises to be yet another sleepy election day throughout the Mahoning Valley. Officials at boards of election throughout the Valley and the state predict near record-low voter turnouts.
Estimates from county boards of election officials in Mahoning, Trumbull and Columbiana counties reported in The Vindicator on Sunday all fall at or below 25 percent. If that stat holds true, it means three-quarters of eligible voters will forfeit the right to have a direct say in the future of their state and local communities.
If history is instructive, then sadly those embarrassing predictions most likely are on target. We hope, however, that the Valley electorate surprises us with much higher percentages.
After all, much is at stake at the polls for state government leadership as well as for local communities and school systems.
Mahoning Valley residents will join the rest of the state in helping to nominate major-party candidates for governor, a position that will impact Ohioans for the next four years. Those races, particularly for the Republican nod, have generated much attention and no small amount of acrimony.
Closer to home, the local electorate will be selecting Democratic nominees for the all-important position of county commissioner. In Mahoning and Trumbull counties, winning the Democratic primary generally is tantamount to victory in November.
In Youngstown, residents can sound off for the seventh time on the proposed ban on hydraulic fracturing in the city in the one place where it really counts — the ballot box.
Residents of the Boardman, Howland and Niles school districts will be deciding whether to approve emergency additional tax levies for basic educational operations. Leaders in each of those districts have warned of substantial cutbacks if the issues are rejected.
To be sure, your one vote on these and other state and local races and issues will have a much stronger and more direct impact on your everyday lives than your one vote for president of the United States typically does every four years.
Thus, we urge residents of the Mahoning Valley to cast their ballots in Tuesday’s primary election wisely and conscientiously.
As usual, polls will be open from 6:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. throughout Ohio. Early voting at county boards of election ends at 2 p.m. today.
OUR ENDORSEMENTS IN REVIEW
The Vindicator’s commitment to elections is long-standing. We spend hours in endorsement meetings with candidates for office and with representatives of major ballot issues. Based on what we learn, in those interviews and elsewhere, we issue endorsements.
What follows is a summary of our recommendations for political-party races and issues that we explained in greater detail in individual editorials in this space over the last three weeks:
Democratic nomination for Ohio governor: Richard Cordray.
Republican nomination for Ohio governor: No endorsement.
13th Congressional District Democratic race: U.S. Rep. Tim Ryan.
6th Congressional District Democratic race: Shawna Roberts.
6th District Republican race: U.S. Rep. Bill Johnson.
Mahoning County commissioner Democratic race: No endorsement.
Mahoning Common Pleas judge Democratic race: Dan Dascenzo.
59th District Ohio House Democratic race: Eric Ungaro.
Trumbull County commissioner Democratic race: Frank Fuda.
64th District Ohio House Republican race: Randy Law.
Mahoning County 0.1-mill renewal levy for treatment of tuberculosis and related diseases : YES
Western Reserve Local School District 4.1-mill renewal levy: YES.
Youngstown Drinking Water Protection Act charter amendment: NO.
Joseph Badger School District 4.15-mill renewal levy: YES.
Mathews School District 2-mill renewal levy: YES.
McDonald School District 3.85-mill renewal levy: YES
We urge voters to study carefully those school and other community issues that do seek additional taxation in order to cast reasoned and responsible votes.