Ohio’s primary went smoothly most of the day Tuesday, but a late wrinkle in southwest Ohio caused some last-minute chaos. A federal judge ordered polls in four southwest Ohio counties to stay open an extra hour because of a major traffic accident on I-275, which shut down the highway and stranded thousands of motorists for much of the early evening. The problem, elections officials say, is that the order came after polls already had closed at 7:30 p.m. U,S. District Judge Susan Dlott called Secretary of State Jon Husted about her concerns shortly after 7:30 and then issued her written order to keep the polls open at 8:13 p.m., Husted’s spokesman said. “A judicial order … after the polls closed makes it hard to keep the polls open,” said Alex Triantafilou, Hamilton County’s GOP chairman and a member of the county’s board of elections.
He said poll workers in Hamilton, Butler, Clermont and Warren counties found out about the extension from media reports and worked feverishly to accommodate voters who showed up after 7:30 p.m. It’s unclear how many polling places didn’t get the word, or how many late voters didn’t get to cast ballots.
Until the late confusion, few problems were reported and most polling places in Ohio were bustling throughout the day. Voter turnout was up compared to the historically poor showing in the 2012 presidential primary, thanks to the wild GOP race and a Democratic contest that’s been more competitive than many expected.
In Hamilton County, where about 230,000 voters cast ballots, the 42 percent turnout was more than double that of the 2012 primary. Republican voters outnumbered Democrats by a 3-2 margin.
Full Article: Traffic accident leads to voting snarl.