Early Voting begins Wednesday


By Staff Report

Election season is now in full swing. Ohioans have the ability to cast their ballots for a plethora of candidates and issues, including on if Mike DeWine will remain as Governor, as to who will become the State’s next U.S. Senator and which of two local candidates will serve as Muskingum County Commissioner for the following four years.  There are also two statewide issues and multiple tax levies at the county, township and village levels.

Early voting begins Wednesday, October 12, in which constituents can vote by mail or in person. Many others will choose to vote at their precinct location on Election Day, Tuesday, November 8.

Roughly $344 million is estimated to be spent on political advertising this fall in Ohio, part of a projected $10 billion nationally, some of the highest advertising spending in American political history.

U.S. Senate

Likely to be the most expensive and closest election statewide in Ohio, one Republican and one Democrat will vie for the seat of Senator Rob Portman (R) who chose not to seek re-election, ending three decades in politics.

Tim Ryan (D), a member of the U.S. House of Representatives for Ohio’s 13th Congressional District, and JD Vance (R), a venture capitalist and military veteran, each won their respective party’s nominations at primaries this spring.

Ryan, 49-years-old, has served multiple consecutive uninterrupted terms in Congress since first being elected in 2002, in which he became the youngest Democrat in the House, at the age of 29.

Vance, 38-years-old, is a lawyer and author, he has also secured the endorsement of former U.S. President Donald Trump.

Ryan had two primary opponents and Vance had six.

Both Ryan and Vance received the most votes in their respective primaries in Muskingum County this spring. Click here to watch their first debate, hosted Monday, October 10, on Fox 8 News in Cleveland.

U.S. Congress

Incumbent Troy Balderson (R) of Ohio’s 12th Congressional District will face challenger Amy Rippel-Elton (D), no campaign website or candidate information was available.

The district heavily favors a Republican candidate and Rep. Balderson routinely ranks as the most favorable politician locally in polling.

Until the end of 2022, Muskingum County is represented by two members of Congress, Rep. Balderson and Rep. Bill Johnson of the 6th Congressional District. The districts were realigned following the 2020 Census and the loss of one of the state’s congressional seats.


Ohio Governor Mike DeWine (R) will take on former Dayton Mayor Nan Whaley (D).

DeWine, the incumbent, has a significant double-digit lead on Whaley, according to multiple polls. A debate has not yet been scheduled.

DeWine has served in numerous elected positions throughout his career including as a county prosecutor, a member of the Ohio Senate, a representative in Congress, both in the U.S. House of Representatives and in the Senate, as the State’s Attorney General and as both Lieutenant Governor and Governor.

Whaley served on the Dayton City Commission, the Montgomery County Board of Elections and was elected Mayor of Dayton in 2013, a position she held until January 2022.

Other Statewide Positions

Ohio House and Senate

  • House of Representatives: Incumbent Adam Holmes (R) will run unopposed. His district was slightly altered due to redistricting, it now features all of Muskingum County and most of Guernsey County. Previously, it covered all of Guernsey County and most of Muskingum County.
  • Senate: Tuscarawas County Commissioner Al Landis (R) will also run unopposed. The largely realigned 31st Senate District now covers all of Muskingum, Tuscarawas and Wayne Counties as well as parts of Stark and Guernsey Counties.

5th District Court of Appeals

  • Incumbent Judge Earle Wise (D) will face challenger Andrew King (R), a former assistant prosecutor in Delaware County.
  • Incumbent Craig Baldwin (R) will face challenger David Ball (D), a local attorney and part-time college professor.

Muskingum County Commissioner Race

Melissa Bell (R) and John Furek (D) will vie for Commissioner Jim Porter’s seat, who decided to retire from office.

Furek has agreed to a candidate feature with Y-City News. Bell did not respond to our offer. Both have committed to an upcoming candidate forum.

Additional Muskingum County Races

  • Incumbent Judge Kelly Cottrill of the Muskingum County Court of Common Pleas will run unopposed.
  • Incumbent Auditor Debra Nye (R) will run unopposed.
  • Incumbent County Court Judge Jay Vinsel will run unopposed.

State Issues

  • State Issue 1: to require courts to consider public safety in setting the amount of bail – constitutional amendment
  • State Issue 2: prohibit local governments from allowing non-electors to vote – constitutional amendment

Muskingum County Levies

  • Muskingum County Mental Health and Recovery Services Levy (renewal) – 1 mill (10 years).
  • Muskingum County Health Department (renewal) – 1 mill (10 years).

Township and Village Levies

  • Village of Philo: Streets and Bridges – Additional 7.25 mills (5 years).
  • Harrison Township: Fire Protection – Renewal 1.6 mills (5 years)
  • Harrison Township: Parks and Recreation – Renewal 1.2 mills (5 years).
  • Highland Township: Fire Levy – Renewal 1 mill (5 years)
  • Licking Township: Fire Levy – Additional 3 mills (5 years)
  • Madison Township: Fire Levy – Renewal 2 mills (5 years)
  • Madison Township: Fire Levy – Renewal 1 mill (5 years)
  • Muskingum Township: Fire Levy – Renewal 3.75 mills (5 years)
  • Salem Township: Fire Levy – Renewal 1 mill (5 years)
  • Salt Creek Township: Fire Levy – Renewal 1 mill (5 years)
  • Springfield Township Fire District – Renewal 1.8 mills (5 years)
  • Wayne Township: Streets, Roads and Bridges – Renewal 1 mill (5 years)


  • Falls Township: Natural Gas Aggregation
  • Perry South Precinct: Par Mar Oil Co: Sunday Sales of Wine and Mixed Beverages
  • New Concord Precinct: Local Option – New Concord (Sunday Sale of Liquor Option)
  • New Concord Precinct: Local Option – New Concord (Sunday Sale of Wine and Mixed Beverages Liquor Option)
  • New Concord Precinct: Local Option – New Concord (Wine and Mixed Beverages Liquor Option)
  • New Concord Precinct: Local Option – New Concord (Liquor by the Glass Liquor Option)
  • New Concord Precinct: Local Option – New Concord (Beer Liquor Option)

Early In-Office Voting Hours (627 Market Street – downtown Zanesville)

  • October 12-14: 8 a.m. until 5 p.m.
  • October 17-21: 8 a.m. until 5 p.m.
  • October 24-28: 8 a.m. until 5 p.m.
  • October 29: 8 a.m. until 5 p.m.
  • October 31-November 4: 8 a.m. until 7 p.m.
  • November 5: 8 a.m. until 4 p.m.
  • November 6: 1 p.m. until 5 p.m.
  • November 7: 8 a.m. until 2 p.m.

Tuesday, November 8: Election Day: precinct locations are open from 6:30 a.m. until 7:30 p.m.

The Secretary of State has mailed every Ohio registered voter an Absentee Application for the upcoming November General Election. The Muskingum County Board of Elections will begin mailing ballots on Wednesday, October 12, for those who have requested one.

Absentee ballots must be requested by Noon on Saturday, November 5. They must then be turned in by 7:30 p.m. on Election Day, outside the Board of Elections, or if mailed, must be postmarked no later than Monday, November 7, the day before the election.