(WKBN) — Ohio voters hit the polls all throughout Tuesday to overwhelmingly reject Ohio Issue 1, a proposal to make it more difficult for citizens to amend the constitution, the Associated Press has projected.
In Trumbull County, people from seven different precincts cast their ballot at St. Demetrios Banquet Hall in Warren. Many of the voters the location saw were in and out before noon.
“It’s been going really well, really busy, good turnout,” said Stephanie Penrose, director of the Trumbull County Board of Elections. “I don’t have any numbers, but we have excellent turnout. Everything is going smooth.”
Penrose said once early voting started on July 10, she realized turnout would be high for this particular ballot issue.
“Beforehand, if you had asked me if we would have this kind of turnout, I’d have told you no. It’s bigger than any special [election] I’ve seen in a long time,” Penrose said.
She believes many factors played into the high numbers of voters this election, citing the issue’s polarizing nature as a driving force.
“Usually, they try to get August specials under the radar, but this one’s been out there, out in front,” Penrose said.
In Mahoning County, voters have been consistently streaming in to St. Michael’s Family Life Center in Canfield.
“It’s been busy out there,” said McCabe, who also serves as director of the Mahoning County Board of Elections. “We had, at noon, over a thousand voters at St. Michael in Canfield. It’s been almost like a governors election out there.”
Some of the poll workers at the center said they’ve never seen a special election so busy.
The issue failed in Mahoning and Trumbull counties, but was favored in Columbiana County.
“In elections and politics, you win some and lose some, but we know between the state Republican party and the Mahoning County Republican Party, we put everything out there on the field and we did the best to get the message across,” said Tom McCabe, chairman of the Mahoning County Republican Party. “It was hard to overcome the tens of millions dollars that poured in from New York and California, and it was a confusing issue and we’re ready to fight in November. We pick up the pieces and fight the next fight.”
“I think that this woke up a new generation of activists,” said Chris Anderson, chairman of the Mahoning County Democratic Party. “From a party standpoint, we’ve seen a big influx of volunteers that we’ve never seen before. People who have never gotten involved in political campaigns have come out because … I think for a lot of them it was a bit of a wakeup call.”