Early Ohio Voters Drawn And Torn By Governor Races

May 7, 2018

Early voting wraps up Monday afternoon at 2 p.m. at boards of elections throughout the state. According to the Ohio Secretary of State’s office, the number of early ballots requested and cast is surging over 2014’s primary. 

Hotly contested gubernatorial primaries among both Republicans and Democrats were the top draw for many early voters. But according to a Baldwin Wallace University poll released last week, a large segment of voters were having trouble making up their minds.

Dale Sklar is a Stark County Democrat. She says attack ads swayed her vote for Richard Cordray for governor.

“I saw an ad that was an ad against him, and everything they said that they thought was rotten against him was things that I believe in," Sklar said. "And I thought, ‘Good enough.’”

But she acknowledged she was having a tough time making up her mind between Cordray and former congressman Dennis Kucinich.

Courtney Johnson-Benson settled on Kucinich. That's in part because, as an Akron native, she's followed his running mate, Akron Councilwoman Tara Mosley Samples.

But she's as interested in the one statewide issue on the ballot, the Ohio constitutional amendment to change the way congressional districts are drawn.

“I am big fan of bipartisanship, and I think it’s only fair that I am voting for someone who represents my interests and that I have a fair chance of having my voice heard,” Johnson-Benson said.

Seth Stephens of Stark County is a conservative Republican voter. His vote went to Lt. Gov. Mary Taylor, who has portrayed herself as the candidate the establishment doesn’t want. He says he likes outsiders, and thinks Taylor’s gender is a plus.

“Not to be sexist but sometimes a little more, maybe female diversity in politics isn’t such a bad thing,” Stephens said.

Taylor is running against Attorney General Mike DeWine. The latest Baldwin Wallace poll shows 40 percent of Democratic voters and 25 percent of Republicans had not made up their minds in the gubernatorial races - with less than a week to go before the election.