If you are a 17-year-old whose 18th birthday comes before the Nov. 8, 2016 general election, you can vote in Tuesday’s primary election. However, Scioto County Board of Elections Director Julia Gearheart says it is important that you read the document that will be attached to your ballot.
“A 17-year-old can’t vote for a presidential delegate, state or county political party’s central committee,” Gearheart said. “You also can’t vote on any question or issue, such as a school tax levy, charter amendment or local liquor option.”
Gearheart said the reason 17-year-olds can’t vote for those candidates and issues is that those candidates are actually elected in the primary election and the levies and charters amendments are also binding, which means a 17 year old would actually be electing people and seeing amendments and levies pass, though they are not old enough to elect anyone.
The document that will be attached to a 17-year-old’s ballot says, “A 17-year-old registered voter who will be 18 years of age on or before the date of the next general election may vote on the nomination (but not election) of primary candidates. This is because you will be eligible to vote for the candidate(s) nominated for these offices in the general election. You cannot vote on any candidacy for presidential delegate, a state or county political party’s central committee, or any question or issue, such as a school tax levy, charter amendment, or local liquor option.”
The document reminds the young voters if they have questions, they can ask the election officials for assistance. If they make an error while marking their ballot, they can take their ballot to the election officials. The election officials will void that ballot and tive them a new one. They are allowed to request up to two replacement ballots.
“Once you have completed marking your ballot, review it to make sure it reflects your votes and place it in the envelope given to you. Once you place your ballot in the envelope given to you and return it to the election officials, you may not request another ballot,” the document reads.
It goes on to say their ballot will be sent to the county board of elections with all the other ballots after the polls close. Their ballot does not identify the voter – “your vote is secret.”