Voters confused about GOP ballot lists

Posted at 9:43 PM, Mar 15, 2016

“I never saw two candidates in two places like that before” said Fred Kubiak, a local resident who went to cast his vote today.

Austin Shaw, another voter joined in and said, “It’s very confusing and disappointing.”

As a person overseeing the polls at the Middleburg Heights Community Center, Janice Boyette has been helping Republican voters all day with confusion on the ballot.

“It’s just a hassle” she said. “People are not understanding what’s the difference, and I can’t answer the questions, because I have no idea, I’m not Republican. Some have walked out and left it alone.”

This is the first year the Ohio GOP ballot was changed from a proportional to a ‘winner takes all’ ballot.

Tom Sutton, Newschannel 5’s Political Analyst from Baldwin Wallace University explained, “in the past, proportional voting meant that the delegates were divided up by congressional districts, whichever one you won, you got those delegates. So this year, there are 66 delegates and whoever wins the most votes gets all of those delegates.”

But now there’s twin lists on the ballot and that's the part that's causing confusion.

Shaw said, “you know you have one job, and that’s to make it clear as to how people can vote and it’s very disappointing.”

Republicans name many reasons for the change, but Sutton tells me one of them is to give governor Kasich a little bit of a push.

“The speculation is that if John Kasich made it this far in the primary process, he would get the home state advantage and it would potentially give him the edge,” he said.

So how should you vote and which of these columns will actually be counted?

Sutton advises, “you should only vote in that top ballot for the ‘At Large’ Delegate, if you vote in both, it’ll still count, but you have to vote in that top list in order for your vote to count this year.”

Even though many voters didn't get that memo… most used their common sense and have just been keeping their fingers crossed.

“I assumed that’s what I was supposed to do, is make my choice in each list and I’m hoping that was the right thing to do,” said Kubiak.

As for Janice, she has one piece of advice for the Republican Party.

“They advertise and do everything else, so this was a lesson that they should’ve been giving to their party.”

Most polls were handing out comment cards for people to be able to go online and give their feedback about their voting experience.