What You Need to Know About the May Primary

Let’s face it.  It’s been incredibly hard for the average voter to follow and understand where things stand with the May 3rd primary with all the partisan moves by the Ohio GOP to try and escape from drawing fair maps as Ohio voters mandated in reforms voters overwhelmingly passed to change Ohio’s constitution to mandate it. This article won’t cover everything that has happened in the redistricting process, but we want to let you know what you need to know about the primary.

Voter Registration

It is too late to register to vote in the May 3 primary. But, if you need to register or update your registration, you can still do that in preparation for the likely August primary and the November general election. You can update your voter registration at the BMV or come to the Butler County Board of Elections at 1802 Princeton Road in Hamilton. If you have a valid Ohio driver’s license or state identification, you may also register to vote or update your voter registration online here. If you just want to check and confirm your voter registration, you may do so at the Secretary of State’s website.

What races are in and out of the primary? 

Races included in the May 3rd primary – Governor, Attorney General, Auditor, Secretary of State, Treasurer, Ohio Supreme Court Chief Justice, 2 Ohio Supreme Court Justices, U.S. Senate, Congress, County Commission, County Auditor, County Central Committee

Races NOT included in the May 3rd primary – Ohio State House, Ohio State Senate, and political parties’ State Central Committee

So, when will we vote on those races not in the May 3rd primary?

The technical answer is at this point nobody actually knows as the Ohio General Assembly has yet to introduce or pass legislation that deals with these races yet.  However, the overwhelming sense we’re seeing from Columbus is to expect that there will be a second primary scheduled for those races and it will be held on August 2nd, which technically is already schedule for any special elections that might otherwise be needed in the State.  We expect to see real clarity and actual confirmation on this later this month.

Why is it important for me to vote in this primary?

Party affiliation in Ohio is determined solely on whether people voted in the last two primaries.  We’ve been able to cut the Republican’s voter registration advantage in this county in half because we’ve done better turning out our voters than the Republicans have since 2016.  It is important for the party that we continue to do so as we continue to make the case across the State and nationally that the GOP’s grip on their stronghold here is showing signs of weakening.  Also, we have contested primaries at the top of the ticket in both the gubernatorial and U.S. Senate races as well.  You can shape which candidates will be our statewide ticket this fall.

But even more importantly, our ability to have a County Auditor candidate on the General Election ballot depends on you.  Currently, our Auditor candidate is running in the primary as a write-in candidate.  Although he is uncontested in that primary, he still must get a certain number of valid write-in votes to still win the nomination and give us the opportunity to have a candidate in the general election.  Therefore, we need you to not only vote in the primary but remember to write-in “David Spurrier” in the County Auditor’s race.  With the incumbent auditor facing felony corruption charges, we cannot let the GOP take voters’ right to choose who holds this office away from them.

How can I vote early in this primary?

It is NOT too late to request an absentee ballot and vote by mail, if you prefer. You can download the form from the Board of Elections’ website. Although the legal deadline to get your application is at noon on Saturday, April 30th, we would advise that you get your application in no later than Tuesday, April 26th.  You can mail your application back to the Board of Elections, bring it into the office, or leave it in the same outdoor dropbox you can use to return your ballots.  Remember that you must indicate you want the Democratic Party’s primary ballot on the application.  Absentee ballots must either be returned to the drop box before polls close on May 3rd or be postmarked no later May 2nd and delivered by the U.S. Postal Service no later than ten days after the primary election.

In-person early voting started Tuesday April 5 at the Board of Elections.

Here are the dates and hours for in-person early voting for the May 3rd primary:

Week One of Voting (April 5 – April 8)

8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. on each weekday (Tuesday through Friday)

Week Two of Voting (April 11 – April 15)

8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. on each weekday (Monday through Friday)

Week Three of Voting (April 18 – April 22)

8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. on each weekday (Monday through Friday)

Week Four of Voting (April 25 – May 1)

8:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. on each weekday (Monday through Friday)

8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. on Saturday, April 30

1:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. on Sunday, May 1

May 2

8:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. on the Monday before Election Day

What do I need to know about Election Day?

Election Day is on May 3rd. Polling locations are open from 6:30am to 7:30pm. In addition, you can drop off absentee ballots at the Board of Elections dropbox by 7:30pm on Election Day.

If you are unsure of your precinct location, you can find that on the Board of Elections’ website.