Mar 4, 2008

Thoughts on the Ohio Primary Election

(Toledo, OH) I garnered a few puzzled looks when I took out my camera at the polling booth today, but no one challenged either my status as a photographer or a voter this morning. For the record, I was voter number 35 in my precinct at 7:15 AM, and it appeared that the turnout was quite high today in Toledo.

There were no campaign supporters to waylay me as I entered the polling station, which is always fine by me. I feel compelled to smile and accept the proffered pieces of literature, even if I am voting for the opposing candidate. I have never been one to relish a confrontation in the parking lot over a campaign brochure, but I have witnessed some hot-headed voters in the past who get testy at the campaign volunteers.

The procedure for party declaration in Ohio at primary elections is a bit intrusive. Poll workers ask you to verbally declare your party, and as a political independent it always sounds strange to me when I have to say "I am a Democrat" or "I am a Republican" or "I am a Green Party member" to some well-meaning worker. Even more surreal was the blue collar voter behind me, whose booming "Republican" reply seemed at odds with the jacket he wore, which advertised the GM Powertrain plant on Alexis Road.

Changing times, to be sure.

Beyond the Democratic presidential candidates, the only decision I had to make was about the 3/4% "temporary" income tax that Toledo has been collecting since the 1980s. This is a levy renewal, but some local talk radio personalities have been fanning the flames on a move to defeat the tax. The failure of the levy will result in the loss of some $57 million in revenue for the city of Toledo, which would force the layoff of a projected 40% of the city's workforce.

This is one of those moments where tax-weary voters must weigh the tax savings (in my case, about $500 a year) versus wholesale cuts in city services and a few hundred more unemployed Toledoans adding to the region's economic woes.

I bit the bullet and voted for the levy. As much as I think the shrinking city of Toledo needs to cut its spending (as well as to better manage its declining revenues), I have to live here for the foreseeable future. I think my quality of life will be better served by maintaining this tax and funding city services at their current level than by holding on to that $500 of my income.

As far as the presidential candidates? I will only disclose that my choice was neither Dennis Kucinich nor John Edwards today.



GREG said...


Hooda Thunkit said...


"I have never been one to relish a confrontation in the parking lot over a campaign brochure..."

I find it to be a non issue, a clear and firm "No, Thank you," suffices in my case. Rarely is my message misunderstood, probably because I usually tower above my "opponent," and clearly (still) outweigh them; however, YMMV ;-)

FWIW, I refuse to feed a beast that clearly must learn some fiscal restraint.]

And intimidation by threats of cutting safety forces first and deeply I regard as a challenge to my authority, which I refuse to yiellld to. Again though, YMMV.

Hooda Thunkit said...


That Hillary thing isn't funny at all.

The Dems already have enough problems, as do the Rhinos.

And, where are the true conservatives when you need them?

Dharma Practitioner said...

Now that I live outside of Toledo yet still working at UT, I find myself being taxed without any say about it in the ballot box. It is a bit disconcerting that I have to fund the city despite the fact I have no say over the repeated bad decisions, improper funding allocations, and boneheaded elected officials. It's not like I can throw the bums out if I don't like it.

As for those people standing outside to pass out papers, I prefer to just accept it, not read it, hang on to it while I vote, then give it back when I leave "so someone else can use it".

slowsol said...

One quote comes to mind when I receive my "free political literature" at the entry doors. It is from late comedian Mitch Hedburg.

"When someone hands you a flier, it's like they're saying, 'Here, you throw this away'".

Historychic said...

This was one of those few times when I was still actually undecided when standing in front of the voting machine. This primary election will be an interesting one.

Robin said...

No one standing outside handing out flyers, when I went to vote. But I did receive a few calls from Hillary and Barack. I hang up on the pre-recorded messages. I find them to be extremely rude. If you want me to vote for you, find a real human being to try to convince me. But, it in the primary, it wouldn't do anyone any good, because I don't have a party affiliation. LOL!

Kathleen said...

I never take the brochures from people on my way to vote. It's probably rude, but I ignore them and sprint for the Poll Limit Line.

I was *proud* of Ohio showing it's more racist than chauvinistic or misogynistic. (for the record, that was sarcasm).

Is Ohio a closed primary state?

Robin said...

In Ohio, during the primary they will ask you what kind of ballot you want to vote on. You can choose either. That puts you on record as being a democrat/republican/independent until the next primary.