Nov. 4 could be a long night for voters, candidates and elections officials. With dozens of races and issues on the ballot, preparation and patience will be the key to a smooth process, said Ben Piscitelli, spokesman for the Franklin County Board of Elections.
To be better prepared, the board of elections recently mailed a reminder to residents, telling them where to vote and what identification will be needed. The mailings were sent to people who have registered to vote, updated their addresses within the county or whose polling location has moved since the 2004 November election.
In Dublin, the biggest local issue on the ballot is Issue 76, a bond and tax levy by Dublin City Schools.
Issue 76 is a combined 7.9-mill operating levy and $50-million no new-millage bond issue. (See separate story on this page.)
Also on the ballot for Dublin area residents is the choice for a new face in the race for the 22nd Ohio House district.
Republican and Dublin City Councilman Mike Keenan will face John Carney, a Democrat and Clintonville resident. Republican incumbent Jim Hughes, also of Clintonville, can't run again because of term limits.
In the race for the U.S. House of Representatives 12th district seat, four-term Republican U.S. Rep. Pat Tiberi will face two challengers in his bid to remain in the House for two more years. Democrat David Robinson and Libertarian Steven Linnabary also are making bids.
In what has been called "the nation's premier congressional race in 2008" Democrat Mary Jo Kilroy, Republican Steve Stivers and independent Don Elijah Eckhart will battle for the 15th congressional district seat left vacant by U.S. Rep. Deborah Pryce.
In the county commissioner race, Democrat John O'Grady will face Republican Jeffery Miller for a full term commencing Jan. 3.
Republican Angel Rhodes and Democrat Paula Brooks also are battling for a county commissioner seat for a full term commencing on Jan. 2.
Two liquor options are on the ballot for Dublin area residents to consider.
One local liquor option would allow Sunday sales from 10 a.m. to midnight for a business at 5685-5691 Woerner Temple Road. The as-yet-to-open business, which can't be named because negotiations with the developer are still being finalized, will be a pub and restaurant.
Residents also will vote on a Sunday sales local liquor option for Red Lobster, 6460 Sawmill Road.
Also on the ballot are five statewide issues.
Issue 1 is a constitutional amendment that would create earlier petition-filing deadlines for statewide ballot issues.
Approval of the amendment would change the filing deadline for citizen-driven ballot initiatives from 90 days before an election to 120 days before an election, according to the ballot language.
Approval of the amendment also would create deadlines for boards of elections to validate petitions and create a standard process for raising legal objections to petitions, the ballot language says.
Issue 2 is a constitutional amendment to authorize the state to issue bonds to continue the Clean Ohio program for environmental revitalization and conservation.
It would authorize the state to issue $200-million in bonds, with a limit of $50-million per year, to continue with the program.
Issue 3 seeks to institute a constitutional amendment to protect private property rights for lakes, groundwater and other bodies of water.
Issue 5 is a referendum vote on legislation passed earlier this year to limit the amount of interest on payday loans. A "no" vote would repeal the legislation and restore previous laws, according to ballot language which would limit the maximum loan amount to $800 and allow payday lenders to charge an interest rate that "substantially exceeds" 28 percent. There also would be no minimum repayment period.
Voting "yes" would uphold the law and cap the interest rates on payday loans to 28 percent and limit loans to $500. Borrowers would be given at least 30 days to repay a loan, the ballot language says.
Issue 6 would establish a privately owned casino in Clinton County through an amendment to the Ohio Constitution. According to the ballot language, if Issue 6 is approved, a private company would construct a $600-million casino on 94 acres in Clinton County.