Just 21 percent of Cuyahoga County voters cast a ballot on Tuesday

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Backers of Issue 7, renewing the sin tax, project that, when all the numbers are crunched between donations and team contributions, they will have spent about $25 for every vote in their victory.

That's not so much a commentary on a whopping warchest as it is on a skimpy turnout.

Just 21 percent of Cuyahoga County voters cast a ballot on Tuesday.

The original projection started at 30 percent and was revised down to 26 percent when fewer by-mail ballot requests came in.

Then Tuesday, in the midst of wonderful voter-friendly weather, Elections Director Pat McDonald revised his guess to 23 percent.

And the final figures settled in at the 21 percent figure.

Statewide the turnout was almost 17 percent.

Cuyahoga's turnout was in keeping with other counties around it.

Lorain County had about a 15 percent turnout. Medina was 17 percent. Summit was 12 percent. Lake was 18 percent. And Geauga was Northeast Ohio's leader with 24 percent.

Primary turnouts are always smaller. The all-time rock-bottom low in Cuyahoga County was 12 percent in 2007.

Voters who didn't vote claimed the issues and candidates on the ballot were not important to them.

Shawn Porach said, "Too busy. I got four kids. I just didn't have any time." His partner, Lisa, said, "We don't believe our vote counts."

At the West Side Market, most of those interviewed claimed they did vote and could not understand why more people do not.

Voter Mike Girbino said, "It's easy to get turned off, but people have to realize they have to participate. That's what it is all about."

Debbie Girbino said, "It's sad. I think people don't really realize they can make a difference."

Voter Judy Coleman said, "Other countries, the younger countries have a greater percent of turnout. Wasn't it just Afghanistan that had a vote?"

Cuyahoga County's turnout beat Ohio's other big city counties of Franklin, Hamilton, Montgomery and Lucas.

The Board of Elections here sent postcards to registered voters, reminding them of the election.

And it used social media and regular media to notify voters of key dates and deadlines.

The November election, including a governor's race, is expected to draw a lot more voters.

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