A line of voters who received provisional ballots waits outside the Board of Elections offices in Norwood Tuesday to cast their ballots. Photo by Dan Yount
By Herald Staff
Charmaine McGuffey, Alice Reece, Fanon Rucker, Kate Schroder and Issue 7 (Metro tax) were the prominent winners in the April 28 Hamilton County Primary Election Tuesday. Although the results thus far are unofficial, these winning Democratic candidates move on to the November Presidential Election and face opponents from the Republican Party at that time.
Charmaine McGuffey, a former supervisor of the Hamilton County Justice Center, defeated Sheriff Jim Neal, her former boss, by a huge percentage in the Democrat race. McGuffey was endorsed by the Hamilton County Democratic Party after Neal had attended a Trump rally.
McGuffey said in a statement, “Together, we brought forward the critical message that the time for criminal justice reform in Hamilton County is now. I am gratified by the overwhelming response from Democratic voters that indicate they want the same criminal justice reform. Tonight’s victory is a victory for all of us. Thank you for stepping forward to vote in this important primary election.
Alicia Reece, a former Cincinnati City Councilwoman and former state representative from Cincinnati, won the Democratic race to fill the seat held by late Commissioner Todd Portune, defeating Connie Pillich, a former state representative, and Kelli Prather, a community activist.
Fanon Rucker, a former Hamilton County Municipal Court judge, defeated Gabe Davis Esq. to become the Democratic opponent of Hamilton County Prosecutor Joe Deters.
Issue 7, which the Southwest Ohio Regional Transit Authority placed on the ballot as a 0.8% sales tax because it said the current funding model to pay for Metro bus operations was broken, narrowly passed, and the result could change with the official count in May.
The levy will be decided by 14,736 outstanding absentee ballots that could be counted, plus another 4,280 provisional ballots that could be included in the official count, election officials said.
Public health expert Kate Schroder defeated Nikki Foster to become the Democratic nominee in Ohio’s First Congressional District. She faces veteran Congressman Steve Chabot in November.
Schroder said, “As we continue to battle COVID-19 and its long ranging impacts, we need a representative who will put Ohioans first to lead us out of this crisis.’’
Results in Ohio’s largely vote-by-mail April 28 primary day in Hamilton County were not known until 4 a.m. April 29.
Sally Krisel deputy director, Hamilton County Board of Elections, said a total of 134,681 ballots have been counted, which is about 90 percent of the 149,433 absentee ballots sent out. A total of 17,060 absentee ballots were delivered on Tuesday, and 14,000 absentee ballots could still could come in. On Tuesday, 549 voters came to the Board of Elections in Norwood to cast ballots. A rough total of 4,300 provisional ballots have been issued.
The official count can begin on May 9 and must be finished by May 19, No certification date of the official results has been set. It is possible several of the results of close races could change, she added.
“Today (Tuesday) in the mail alone we received 10,000 ballots,” said Sherry Poland, director of the Hamilton County Board of Elections. “Our staff is almost doubled in what our normal full-time staff is.’’
Workers in a warehouse at the Board of Elections first verified that voters are who they say they are. Then each ballot was scanned to find out who voted for what.
During normal election cycles, mail-in ballots make up a fairly small percentage of the vote.
Provisional ballots and all ballots postmarked by Monday, April 27, will be counted even if those ballots don’t get delivered until up to 10 days from Tuesday, Poland said.