Learn about the primaries election

By Victoria Hansen, HansenV@Findlay.edu

The Ohio U.S. Senate Republican Primary forum held at the University of Findlay on Feb. 19 showed the power of primaries. The primaries are the time to make sure that we have good candidates moving forward, according to Mayor of Findlay Christina Muryn.

“It’s their [University of Findlay students’] opportunity to make sure that somebody who is representing their political affiliation is someone who they can be proud of,” Muryn said.

The Federal Voting Assistance Program, a program of the U.S. Department of Defense, explains that primaries are elections that political parties use to select candidates for a general election.

There are three types of primaries: open, closed and semi-closed. An open primary means that one can vote in any party’s primary, regardless of your party registration. A closed primary can only be voted in by members of the primary’s political party. A semi-closed primary is a cross between both of those where those registered with a political party must vote in their primary, but independent voters can vote in whichever primary they choose.

Ohio has somewhat open primaries according to Hancock County Board of Elections member Jody O’Brien.

“A registered democrat can vote with a republican ballot and the same thing the other way around,” O’Brien said. “If you’re not registered with a party, you can get an issues-only ballot.”

The voter registration deadline for the primaries has passed, but UF students from Ohio have until Oct. 7 to register to vote in the general election in November, which includes the presidential election. Students can check their home state’s Secretary of State’s website to find out if they’re registered. Ohio students can register to vote online at olvr.ohiosos.gov or in person at public libraries, public high schools, and the Bureau of Motor Vehicles, among others.

WLFC host Grant Goodfellow said that he registered to vote on things he cared about.

“When Issue One and Issue Two were on the ballot, I noticed that I wasn’t registered to vote,” Goodfellow said. “And I decided to register.”

Ballot issues are a key reason to vote in any election, even if it’s not a presidential election. Ballot issues come in three types: referendum, initiated constitutional amendment (ICA), and initiated statute.

A referendum is a challenge to a bill that has been passed, while an ICA is when either a citizen or the Ohio General Assembly proposes a new Ohio constitutional amendment to be voted on. Issue One was an ICA. An initiated statute is similar to an ICA, except that an initiated statute is a law instead of an amendment.

“Every vote matters. Every single vote matters,” O’Brien said. “You might hear that absentee ballots are not counted, but they’re counted first. They’re going to be the first results that you hear.”

In 2022, 28.4% of youth ages 18–24 voted in the election, according to the Census Current Population Survey.

Ohio residents can also work at the polls by registering at www.ohiosos.gov/elections/poll-workers/.