What's on the primary ballot in Delaware County? Here is a summary of contested races, issues

Delaware County Board of Elections, 2079 U.S. 23 North, Suite 4, Delaware, OH
Delaware County Board of Elections, 2079 U.S. 23 North, Suite 4, Delaware, OH

Early in-person and absentee ballot voting for the March 19 primary election is underway in Ohio.

Besides the key statewide races for president and U.S. Senate, there are also U.S. House and a number of state Senate and House seats, Ohio Supreme Court justices and countywide offices on the ballot. In addition, there may be some local municipal and school levy issues on your ballot, depending on where you live.

Ohio registered voters decide in the primary election whether they want a Republican, Democratic or unaffiliated ballot. Unaffiliated voters can only cast ballots in local or statewide issues.

Here is a quick rundown of contested candidate races on Delaware County ballots — not including races for county or state party committee posts. The only large local issue is Olentangy Local School District's three-part request for funding for school construction and improvements. (This listing does not include local alcohol sales issues on some ballots as only registered voters in those neighborhood precincts will decide.)

President of the United States

Despite what you might think, Democratic incumbent Joe Biden and Republican Donald Trump are not the only candidates seeking to become president. Both have at least one challenger on their party's primary ballot in Ohio.

Biden is opposed by U.S. Rep. Dean Phillips, a Democrat from Minnesota's 3rd Congressional District.

Trump is opposed by Nikki Haley, former South Carolina governor and U.N. ambassador. Although the other three candidates on the Republican ballot in Ohio have officially suspended their campaigns, their names remain on the ballot in the Buckeye state: Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis; Vivek Ramaswamy, a Cincinnati native and biotech entrepreneur; and former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie.

U.S. Senate

Incumbent Democrat Sherrod Brown is unopposed on his party's primary ballot and in November will face the winner among three Republicans battling for their party's nomination: Matt Dolan, Ohio Secretary of State Frank LaRose, whose office oversees the state's elections; and Bernie Moreno, who has the endorsement of former President Trump.

From Dispatch coverage on the Senate race:

U.S. House

4th Congressional District: Democrats Steve Thomas and Tamie Wilson, both of Delaware city, are battling in the primary to see who will face unopposed Republican incumbent Jim Jordan of Urbana in November.

Ohio House

61st House District: Democrats David Hogan, of Ashley, and Christian Smith, of Delaware, are competing for their party's primary nomination, while Republicans Michael Holt, of Mount Vernon, and Beth Lear, of Galena, seek the GOP nomination. The winners will compete in the November general election.

Ohio Supreme Court

In the only contested primary race among the threes seats up for grabs on the state's highest court, Democrats Lisa Forbes and Terri Jamison are competing for their party's nomination to face unopposed Republican Daniel R. Hawkins in November.

Ohio 5th District Court of Appeals

There are three seats up for election on the court, which is based in Canton but covers Delaware, Fairfield, Licking, Ashland, Coshocton, Guernsey, Holmes, Knox, Morgan, Morrow, Muskingum, Perry, Richland, Stark and Tuscarawas counties.

Two of the seats belong to current judges who are age-limited and cannot seek reelection: W. Scott Gwin and John W. Wise. No Democrats are listed on the ballot for any of the seats.

  • Seat 1: Republicans Aletha M. Carver, of Canton; Jeff Furr, of Utica, and Robert G. Montgomery, of Blue Rock, are competing for their party's nomination.

  • Seat 2: Republicans Dixie Park, of Canton, and  Kevin W. Popham, of Powell, seek this seat.

  • Seat 3: Incumbent Presiding Judge A. Delaney, of Delaware, is opposed by David Gormley, of Powell.

Delaware County

Treasurer: Republicans John O’Brien and Ken O’Brien, both of Delaware, are challenging incumbent Don Rankey, of Powell, for their party's nomination. There are no Democrat candidates.

Local issues

City of Delaware: There are two municipal income tax questions on the ballot. A 0.35% levy for 5 years beginning in 2025 to pay for general municipal services, capital improvements and payment of bonds for those purposes, and a continuation of an existing 0.15% levy for a continuing period of time to fund municipal parks and recreation.

BST&G Joint Fire District (which serves Berkshire Township, Sunbury city, Trenton Township and Galena village) is asking for a 0.78-mill property tax for 15 years to cover a $9 million bond issue for acquiring land and constructing and equipping fire facilities. If approved, the levy would cost property owners $27 for each $100,000 of the county auditor's appraised value.

Olentangy Local School District is seeking voter approval of a bond issue and levies package under one ballot question to finance construction of new schools, expansion and improvements of existing schools, and additional funding for operating expenses to deal with anticipated student growth of about 5,000 students over the next 10 years. This package includes:

  1. A proposed bond issue of $350,000,000. The district says this would be a "no additional millage" bond package, however, voters will see it described on the ballot and on the county's auditor's site as a property tax levy of 2.72 mills for 37 years beginning in 2024 to be used for acquiring land and constructing, furnishing, and equipping new elementary schools, a new middle school, and a new high school as well as renovating, furnishing, and equipping existing facilities. The auditor's site says if approved by voters, the measure will pay the debt charges on the bonds and property owners will pay $95 for each $100,000 of their county auditor's appraised value. But Olentangy Local School District says it "will NOT need to increase the millage required to pay our debt service payments should the bond issue pass" and will not need to collect the 2.72 mills. The district said it is seeking a total 4.25 mills as described in items 2 and 3 below.

  2. An additional continuing property tax of 1.25 mills to provide funds for the acquisition, construction, enlargement, renovation, and financing of permanent improvements that will generate an estimated $8,482,000 annually. If approved by voters, this will cost property owners $44 for each $100,000 of their county auditor's appraised value.

  3. An additional, continuing 3-mill property tax to pay current operating expenses that will generate an additional $20,357,000 annually. If approved by voters, this will cost property owners $105 for each $100,000 of the county auditor's appraised value.

How can I see everything that is on my primary ballot?

You must be a registered voter as of Feb. 20 to vote in the March primary. To see everything that is on your individual ballot, go to the Delaware County Board of Elections website.

What are the key dates for the Ohio primary election?

  • Feb. 21: Early in-person voting began.

  • March 12: Deadline for absentee ballot applications

  • March 18: Absentee ballots returned by mail must be postmarked by this day.

  • March 19: Election Day

  • March 23: Absentee ballots mailed on or before March 18 must arrive at boards of elections by this day to be counted.

How to vote by mail

You can get an application to request a mail-in ballot one of two ways: Ask your board of elections to mail you one, or download the application online. You can request an absentee ballot for the March primary until close of business on March 12.

To cast a ballot by mail, voters must provide a copy of their photo ID, driver's license number or the last four digits of their Social Security number.

Completed ballots must be postmarked by March 18 and received by boards of elections no later than March 23 to be counted. If you don't mail your ballot in time, you can take it to your local board of elections before polls close on Election Day.

How to vote early in-person

Ohioans can vote early at their county's designated location, which is almost always your county board of elections. Visit voteohio.gov to find your county's early voting spot.

Early in-person voting hours for the March primary are:

  • February 21-23: 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

  • February 26 to March 1: 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

  • March 4-8: 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

  • March 9: 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.

  • March 11: 7:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m.

  • March 12: 7:30 a.m. to 8:30 p.m.

  • March 13-15: 7:30 a.m.to 7:30 p.m.

  • March 16: 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.

  • March 17: 1-5 p.m.

Per the new voting law, Ohio no longer offers early in-person voting on the Monday before the election (March 18).

What kind of ID do I need to vote in person?

Ohio now requires voters to show a photo ID when they cast in-person ballots, either early or on Election Day. The ID must be unexpired, but it doesn't need to have your current address on it. Other documents, such as utility bills and bank statements, are no longer accepted.

The following documents qualify:

  • Ohio driver's license

  • Ohio state ID

  • U.S. passport or passport card

  • U.S. Military ID, Ohio National Guard ID or U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs ID

  • Interim identification issued by the Bureau of Motor Vehicles

Free state IDs are available to residents at BMV deputy registrar locations. More information can be found at bmv.ohio.gov.

What if I forget my ID?

If you don't have your ID or run into other problems at the polls on Election Day, you can cast a provisional ballot.

Voters have four days to provide any missing information to election officials. Boards of elections have until eight days after the election to determine which provisional ballots can be counted.

Are ballot drop boxes available?

Yes. Each county has a drop box set up at the board of elections. You can bring your completed absentee ballot there any time before polls close on Election Day. All drop boxes are monitored by video surveillance.

How to vote on primary Election Day in Ohio

Polls are open from 6:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. on Election Day. You can find your polling place at voteohio.gov.

Haley BeMiller, a reporter for the USA TODAY Network Ohio Bureau, which includes The Columbus Dispatch, contributed to this report.

This article originally appeared on The Columbus Dispatch: What's on the primary ballot in Delaware County? Here's a summary