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Qualls and Cranley Face off in Mayoral Race

CINCINNATI (Angenette Levy) -- The polls are open until 7:30 Tuesday night for Ohio voters on this Election Day. 

Local 12 News has crews all over the tri-state covering Tuesday's big races.  But we begin with the one that will decide the leader who will shape Cincinnati's future for at least the next four years.  Local 12's Angenette Levy is in Mount Auburn with the campaign for mayor.

So far poll workers say the turnout at this location has been good considering there is no Presidential or Governor election.

Voters are casting ballots for city council and the mayor's race between John Cranley and Roxanne Qualls.  Vice Mayor Roxanne Qualls voted this morning at the main branch of the Public Library downtown.  After that, she planned to visit polling locations across the city with council members Wendell Young and Yvette Simpson to meet voters and thank poll workers.

John Cranley voted with his wife at Knox Presbyterian Church in Hyde Park Tuesday morning.  Cranley has focused much of his campaign on his opposition to the streetcar and the city's plan to lease its parking meters and garages to private companies, two things Roxanne Qualls supports.

Roxanne Qualls said, I think for some people those two issues are issues.  Both those who are strongly in favor as well as strongly opposed.  However, I think that now we are to November 5, most people are trying to make a decision based on what's good for the future of the city."

John Cranley said, I certainly know how city hall works.  I know where we need to go.  I've been very clear with the voters as to what my priorities are and will immediately get back to basics: safety, police and fire, and focusing on jobs and schools."

The turnout for early voting was 45 percent lower than two years ago.  So voter turnout for this election could be very low.  Angenette Levy spoke with one board of elections official who told me turnout in predominantly African American areas of the city has been low - but in other areas of the city it has been more normal.

Voters in Cincinnati are also choosing candidates to fill all nine city council seats.  For the first time, those council members will serve four-year terms.  And issue four will decide whether to change how city employees' pensions are funded.

Among the issues on the ballots in Hamilton County, a renewal levy for the public library, that's issue one.  And issue two is a renewal levy for the Cincinnati Zoo.  Neither issue raises taxes.

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