2017 Elections Preview

As we kick off the new year, we can certainly expect a busy 2017. There will be at least three elections and a fourth issues-only election in August, if needed. If you would like to see the profile for similar elections held in the past, follow this link to view the post-election results and profiles.


The first election will be May 2nd. It will be a primary election featuring up to 13 suburbs where voters will cast ballots for municipal and judicial candidates. Of course, there could be issues and charter amendments as well. There is a chance that Cleveland might join the election if the city puts the controversial minimum wage increase question to voters. The issues filing deadline for the May election is February 1st.

Here are some statistics from the May 2013 election, which is the last time we held a similar election:

Total Registered Voters: 165,757
Election Day Ballots: 16,816
Absentee Ballots: 8,808
Total Ballots Cast: 25,624
Voter Turnout: 15%
Precincts: 181
Voting Locations: 70
Municipalities: 14

The August Election is for issues only, and will only be held if issues of charter amendments are filed. We will know on June 9th at the latest whether we will conduct this election.

The Primary Election for Cleveland Mayor and Council, as well as 13 other municipalities that will hold primaries for their elected officials, will take place on September 12th. Here is what we can expect based on the same election that was held in 2013:

Total Registered Voters: 183,322
Election Day Ballots: 12,299
Absentee Ballots: 5,541
Total Ballots Cast: 17,840
Voter Turnout: 10%
Precincts: 227
Voting Locations: 98
Municipalities: 6

If history repeats itself, the November 7th General Election should feature hundreds of candidates running for municipal, school, and judicial seats, and over one hundred issues. Here are some numbers from the November 2013 election:

Total Registered Voters: 887,147
Election Day Ballots: 171,872
Absentee Ballots: 90,392
Total Ballots Cast: 262,264
Voter Turnout: 30%
Precincts: 1,047
Voting Locations: 410
Municipalities: 59
Issues: 88

Author: Mike West, Media and Voter Education Specialist, Cuyahoga County Board of Elections

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