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Early voting turnout lags as polls open

BY JARED KEEVER - jkeever@perutribune.com

As Peru voters begin to hit the polls this morning for the city elections, voter turnout remains comparatively low. 

“We have voted a total of 803,” Mary Kaye Jones, Miami County first deputy of voter registration, told the Tribune just after noon on Monday.

That was just minutes after polls closed for the last day of early voting ahead of today’s contest.

Though there was still time to collect a few of the mail-in absentee ballots, the 70 that Jones said she has collected so far weren’t going to offset the difference between this year and the 2015 city election.

That year, 1,165 voters turned out for early voting, setting the pace for a 33.38 percent overall turnout for the year or 2,467 of 7,390 registered voters.

Though turnout is usually lower in these off-year elections as compared to years that see county, state and national candidates on the ballot, as well, Jones said she didn’t have a sense as to why this year’s early turnout lagged behind even the previous municipal elections.

And though registration has gone up slightly – her office reports 7,976 registered voters now in the city – Jones couldn’t predict where turnout might end up overall.

“We don’t have any idea,” she said.

Polls open at 6 a.m. at three polling places in the city.

One will be set up at the Miami County Courthouse. There will be another at the Area 5 senior center at 661 E. Main St. as well as one Parkview United Methodist Church at 1785 South S.R. 19.

Polls close at 6 p.m.

The names voters will see on their ballots – depending on where they live in the city – are as follows:

Mayor

Gabriel Greer, Democrat

Miles W. Hewitt, Republican

Chris Wolfe, Independent

Clerk-Treasurer

Tish Soldi, Democrat

Susan E. Stanley, Republican

City Council Seats

District 1

Betsy Edwards-Wolfe, Democrat

Blane C. Holland, Republican

District 2

Brian A. Arwood, Democrat

Tom Gustin, Republican

District 3

Jason Bowman, Democrat

Peter Sahaidachny, Republican

District 4

Cheryl Lee, Democrat

Patricia A.Russell, Republican

District 5

Joyce Greer, Democrat

Mark E. Ramsey, Republican

At Large - Two seats

(Voters select two candidates from the field. Top two vote-getters win the seats.)

Steve Anderson, Democrat

Andrea J. Harris, Republican

Kathleen L. Plothow, Republican

Carrie Young, Democrat