Low voter turnout not abnormal

Fulton Twp. levy too close to call

By Drew Stambaugh - dstambaugh@aimmediamidwest.com

Turnout was low in Fulton County for the May 4 election, but it was not out of the ordinary for similar elections.

“This May turnout is basically in line with other May elections in like years,” said Melanie Gilders, Fulton County Board of Elections Director. “It is lower than some, and higher than some.”

The ballot included a countywide EMS levy and several local issues.

The overall turnout was 11.27% in the county, with relatively high turnout in the Pike-Delta-York district pushing it that high.

“Without the activity in that district, the overall turnout would have been much lower,” Gilders said.

Outside of that school district, only the Archbold Two precinct was higher than 10%, with an 11.38% turnout. Most other precincts had turnouts under 8%. Wauseon’s third precinct had the lowest turnout, at 3.46%.

In the Pike-Delta-York district, turnout ranged from 24.35% in York Township to 41.35% in the Delta One precinct. Voters approved a 1% income tax that allows the district to avoid massive cuts that were planned if it had failed.

Turnout in other similar May elections has also been low. In May 2017, for example, there were only local issues on the ballot and turnout was 7.57%. May 2013 also had just local issues, and the turnout was 10.05%. Even going as far back as May 1987, the turnout in Fulton County was 10.23% in an election that included only local issues.

May elections with statewide primary races had higher turnout.

All but one issue on the ballot in Fulton County this month was approved by voters, and that race is currently too close to definitively call. Unofficial results show a new 1-mill fire levy in Fulton Township being voted down 74-72 by voters. That result will not be made official until next month.

“We will conduct the official canvass of votes cast on May 19 beginning at 8:30 a.m,” said Gilders. “There is one outstanding absentee ballot and two provisional ballots that are being processed and the ones that are valid for counting will be added into the count on the 19th.”

If there is a need for any type of recount, that will be determined during the official canvass.

The Fulton Township fire levy would have allowed double taxing for fire service to end for those who are residents of both the township and Village of Swanton. It appears some voters in the village may not have been aware of this as the issue was voted down in the village 54-38.

Fulton Twp. levy too close to call

By Drew Stambaugh


Reach Drew Stambaugh at 419-335-2010

Reach Drew Stambaugh at 419-335-2010