Medina County Board of Elections Director Carol Lawler said Monday afternoon early voting numbers for the 2018 midterm election are nearing the numbers seen during the 2008 presidential election. The poll will be open 6:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. today. For more information, visit www.medinacountyelections.org. Visit medina-gazette.com for election results tonight. NATHAN HAVENNER / GAZETTE
MEDINA TWP — On the eve of the first midterm elections to test the waters surrounding President Donald Trump’s first two years in office, local party leaders said Monday that Election Day will bring out voters with multiple reasons to cast ballots.
Polls open: 6:30 a.m.
Polls close: 7:30 p.m.
Medina County Board of Elections phone number: (330) 722-9278
Board of Elections website: www.medinacountyelections.org
Board of Elections address: 3800 Stonegate Drive, Suite C, Medina Township.
Medina County Republican Party Executive Committee Chairman Chuck Calvert said national news is bleeding over into local political world. Voters are addressing those concerns at the poll, he said.
“I think several things, the Kavanaugh hearings upset a lot of people, and I think that has motivated some people to get out. We have the … people coming up from South America, there are a lot of concerns about that, pre-existing conditions on the medical side has got a lot of people excited,” Calvert said. “I would think those are probably the three biggest things when I talk to people as to why they think people are voting more.”
Medina County is a Republican stronghold, a community that during the November 2016 general election voted for Trump and Vice President Mike Pence with a nearly 2-to-1 margin, giving roughly 60 percent or 54,807 votes to the GOP ticket. Democrats Hillary Clinton and Tim Kaine garnered just 35 percent or 32,181 votes.
Voter turnout for that year was more than 76 percent.
But that was a presidential year. This is a midterm election that historically sees less interest from electors.
Four years ago, just shy of 40 percent of Medina County voters showed up at the polls, and four years before that turnout was about 50 percent.
Board of Elections Director Carol Lawler said that while she could not offer a prediction on this year’s turnout — the office had a steady stream of voters Monday — she said the numbers appear to exceed both the 2010 and 2014 midterm elections when using early voting as a gauge.
“It is more approaching the 2008 presidential (election),” said Lawler. That election saw almost 71 percent turnout.
Early voting officially ended Monday at 2 p.m. The polls will open at 6:30 a.m. today and close at 7:30 p.m.
For volunteers who have spent days crisscrossing the county, Election Day is about seeing hard work pay off.
Democratic field organizer Matt Ducey said he believes party volunteers have done a good job of explaining the benefits of early voting, especially for new voters, to county residents.
“I think for one, we have done a pretty good job of focusing on it, but two, I think more importantly, folks are engaged and paying attention in a way that is not necessarily normal for a midterm election year,” he said Monday.
“A lot of folks are upset with the way things are going both nationally and within the state of Ohio.”
Ducey said he believes that regardless of party affiliation, voters share some of the same concerns.
“… They want to make sure that they have health care coverage, that they have a lifestyle that is sustainable, that they can retire comfortably and that they can be treated with dignity,” he said.