2020 election’s record-setting voter turnout

National, local candidates received higher number of votes than predicted

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Avaerie

During a Republican Party rally held in Mansfield, OH, Vice President Mike Pence gave a speech to endorse running Republican candidates. From left: Troy Balderson, Mike Pence, Mike DeWine.

Avaerie Fitzgerald, COLLEGIAN MANAGING EDITOR

After the election on Nov. 3, many Americans waited anxiously for the results of the tallied votes, which would determine who would be the next President of the United States. To many Americans’ surprise, Joe Biden (D) was able to rise above current President Donald Trump (R) in the polls and claim the title of the new president-elect.

This race marks a historical moment both in terms of total ballots cast by American citizens, which totals at more than 161-million, and diversity in the White House. Kamala Harris will be welcomed as the first female vice president-elect and the first African American, South Asian American in office.

This surprise turnout, for some, came directly from the rise in young voters and the abundance of ballots that were cast this year— in all forms of mail-in, early and day-of voting.

According to a poll conducted by AU-Live.com, which was taken by 18-24 year olds (56% of participants), and the other largest participating age group of 55 and older—43% of participants voted absentee, while the remaining 56% chose to vote in-person.

On Saturday, Nov. 7, the announcement was made that Biden was chosen as president-elect, after gaining 290 electoral votes to Trump’s 214. Over 76.3-million votes went to Biden, and over 71.4-million people voted for Trump.

In the heat of the race, many American citizens were too distracted by the national election to focus on the local issues and candidates.

In Ashland County, there were several first-time runners introduced to the community, and also many political figures choosing to run for re-election. Many of the local campaigns were smaller than normal due to requirements and mandates for the coronavirus.

Normal debates, door-to-door campaigning and meet-the-candidate nights had to be cancelled to satisfy social distancing.

LOCAL AND STATE CANDIDATES

There were 10 candidates running unopposed on the ballot this November. Those offices included:

E. Wayne Risner for County Sheriff; Angela S. McQuillen for County Treasurer; Karen DeSanto Kellogg for Probate/Juvenile Court Judge; Dale R. Thomae for Coroner; James Emmett Justice for County Commissioner; Michael E. Welch for County Commissioner; Christopher R. Tunnell for Prosecuting Attorney; Deborah A. Myers for Clerk of the Court of Common Pleas; and Edward J. Meixner for County Engineer.

Bob Gibbs (R), pictured at an Ashbrook debate, won re-election for Rep. to Congress for the 7th District. (Avaerie)

On the ballot for State Senator for Ohio’s 22nd District was Mark Romanchuk who won with over three-quarters of the overall vote, against Ryan Hunger. Romanchuk, a Republican candidate, has been a member of the Ohio House of Representatives since 2013, currently serving his fourth-term in office.

For State Representative for the 70th District, Darrell D. Kick (R) secured the win against opponent Kevin Barnet (D). Kick achieved a 70.7% vote over Barnet, and will now work on serving his third term starting in January and hopes to continue satisfying the needs of the community.

Representative to Congress for the 7th District was chosen for reelection by the people and awarded to Bob Gibbs (R), who now has held the title since 2013.

Starting his term for the 5th District Court of Appeals on Feb. 5, 2021, William Hoffman, claimed victory over opponent Jeff Furr after receiving around 69% of the votes. Hoffman has served in the position since 1991, after over 24 years of law practice experience.

LEVIES

The Ashland City School District sought a 1.25-million dollar tax levy renewal that is aimed to go to permanent improvements for up to five years. This renewal was approved by the voters with 69% approval.

Mapleton Local School District also released two renewal tax levies for the amount of four-million dollars each, which will be used for a continuous amount of time and go toward permanent improvements and current expenses. This tax renewal also passed with a 55% approval voting and 56% respectively.

Ashland County Park District had an approved renewal for their tax levy, which will go toward operating expenses for five years. This vote was passed by 73%.

Despite a blue-leaning outcome in the national race, Ashland County residents chose to stick with re-electing familiar candidates. Results show that Ashland residents voted the way they have in years past, a red county that favors Republican candidates.