Columbus, OH

A voter’s guide to the November ballot

The Lantern
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Election Day is Nov. 2 with polls opening at 6:30 a.m, and closing at 7:30 p.m. Illustration by Kelly Meaden | Lantern File Photo

With a few weeks until the Nov. 2 election and early voting underway across Ohio, everything from a congressional seat to city attorney and funds for cleaner energy are on the ballot, as well as a few changes to where some students can vote.

According to the Franklin County Board of Elections , two polling stations that previously served University District residents will be closed. The Martin Janis Senior Center, located at 600 E. 11th Ave., as well as the Godman Guild Association, located at 303 E. 6th Ave., will not be available to University District residents to vote, according to the Franklin County Board of Elections website .

Those who voted at the Martin Janis Senior Center will be relocated to the Dwell Community Church Fourth Street Pavilion, located at 1934 N. 4th St., because of the center’s closure. Those who voted at the Godman Guild Association will be directed to the Veritas Community Church, located at 342 E. 2nd Ave., because the association’s building was sold.

Election Day is Nov. 2, with polls opening at 6:30 a.m., and closing at 7:30 p.m.

Anyone who is in line when the polls close will still be allowed to vote.

Those who wish to vote early can do so in person at the Franklin County Board of Elections , located at 1700 Morse Road, or another early voting site during these hours:

  • 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. until Oct. 22.
  • 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. Oct. 25-29.
  • 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Oct. 30.
  • 1-5 p.m. Oct. 31.
  • 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Nov. 1.

Ballot measures

Issue 7: According to a petition filed with the Columbus City Clerk in October 2020, if passed, Columbus voters would vote to establish an Energy Efficiency, Energy Conservation and Clean Energy Education and Training Fund by taking $87 million from the general fund — which the city largely uses for day-to-day expenses. According to Ballotpedia , there are no official supporters — but opponents include Mayor Andrew J. Ginther and City Council President Shannon Hardin.

Congress

The 15th congressional district, which includes portions of West Campus and stretches as far southeast as Athens County, according to Ballotpedia , is up for grabs after Rep. Steve Stivers (R-OH-15) announced his retirement in May. Republican Mike Carey, a longtime coal lobbyist endorsed by former President Donald J. Trump, and Democrat State Rep. Alison Russo, a health policy expert, won an August primary for the seat.

Local offices

Columbus City Attorney: The city attorney’s office typically handles civil cases and advises the city on lawsuits, representing it in court.

Zachary Klein (D) — incumbent

Columbus City Auditor: The city auditor’s office can be considered the city’s accountant. It is responsible for recording, maintaining and reporting the city’s finances.

Megan Kilgore (nonpartisan) — incumbent

Columbus City Council: City Council manages the city’s budget, allocates funds to various city agencies and elected officials, such as the Department of Health, the Columbus Division of Police, the Division of Code Enforcement and the Department of Development.

Three seats are up for grabs in this race:

Shannon Hardin (D) — incumbent

Nick Bankston (D)

Tom Sussi (I)

Lourdes Barroso de Padill a (D)

Columbus Board of Education: The city’s school board is responsible for setting the educational standards for K-12, tax-funded schools in the city of Columbus, as well as planning student services, setting district policy for students and staff and establishing, as well as tracking, the school district’s budget.

Three seats are up for grabs in this race:

Michael D. Cole (D) — incumbent
James Ragland (nonpartisan) –– incumbent

Ramona Reyes (D) — incumbent

Mohamed Ali (nonpartisan)

Kevin Hairston (nonpartisan)

Christina Vera (D)

Judiciary

The Franklin County Municipal Court: The court handles misdemeanor offenses — such as traffic violations, petty theft, evictions and small civil claims — where the amount does not exceed $15,000. Judicial elections in Franklin County are typically considered nonpartisan.

Elections to municipal judgeships occur in odd-numbered years, while elections to the state’s Supreme Court, state appeals courts and county courts of common pleas occur in even-numbered years, according to Ballotpedia.

Voters will fill the seats of three retired or retiring judges, most notably Judge H. William Pollitt , who died in August 2020 of COVID-19. In March, Gov. Mike DeWine appointed Magistrate Michael King to serve the remainder of Pollitt’s term, according to the Franklin County Municipal Court’s website .

Judge H. William Pollitt’s seat with a term beginning Jan. 1, 2022:

Michael King (R) — incumbent
Mike McAllister (D)

Judge Ted Barrows’ seat with a term beginning Jan. 2, 2022:

Bill Hedrick (D)

Will Ireland (R)

Judge Mark Hummer’s seat with a term beginning Jan. 3, 2022  — uncontested

Mark Hummer (D) — incumbent

Judge Paul Herbert’s seat with a term beginning Jan. 4, 2022:

Gina Russo (R) — incumbent

Rena Shak (D)

Judge Cynthia Ebner’s seat with a term beginning Jan. 5, 2022:

Cynthia Ebner (D) — incumbent

Mark Miller (R)

Judge Eileen Paley’s seat with a term beginning Jan. 6, 2022  — uncontested

Eileen Paley (D) — incumbent


Judge Jim O’Grady’s seat with a term beginning Jan. 7, 2022:

Jim O’Grady (D) — incumbent

Josh Brown (R)

Franklin County Municipal Court Environmental Division: Environmental court largely handles cases relating to the environment, such as nuisance properties, zoning, illegal dumping, property maintenance and building codes.

Judge Stephanie Mingo’s seat with a term beginning Jan. 8, 2022:

Stephanie Mingo (R) — incumbent

Scott Kirschman (D)

Judge Gary Tyack’s seat with a term beginning Jan. 9, 2022:

Mary Kay Fenlon (D)
Laura Nesbitt (R)

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