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MANSFIELD -- It's likely just one in four registered voters in Mansfield will determine the city's next mayor.

Paulette Hankins, director of the Richland County Board of Elections, projects about 25 percent voter turnout on Tuesday during an election cycle that includes no national or statewide races or issues.

"The townships with not many races and no county-wide issues will bring the totals down," Hankins said.

There are 28,131 registered voters in the city, which accounts for about one-third of the 83,000-plus registered voters in the county.

If 25 percent vote, that means the race between incumbent Republican Mayor Tim Theaker and Democratic challenger Don Bryant will be decided by just over 7,000 voters.

Early voting and absentee voting for Tuesday's election continues to lag behind 2015's totals. As of Sunday, 3,279 voters had either voted in person or requested absentee ballots, including 1,561 in the City of Mansfield, according to Hankins. In 2015, those numbers at the same point were 4,491 total, including  1,830 in the city.

In 2015, the most recent mayoral election year, almost 46 percent of Richland County voters participated overall, but there were also three statewide issues on the ballot, including a marijuana legalization issue and political re-disricting.

In 2011, also a mayoral election year, voter turnout around the county was almost 47 percent. Again, there were also three statewide issues on the ballot.

In 2007, just under 34 percent of voters cast ballots, an election that saw three mayoral candidates on the ballot with the winner, Don Culliver, earning just 41.6 percent of the vote.

The largest percentage of local voter turnout occurs during presidential election years, including 68.4 percent in 2016 and 78.3 percent in 2012. 

Click here to view the entire Richland County ballot for Tuesday. Click here to read all Richland Source election preview coverage.

All Richland County polling locations open Tuesday at 6:30 a.m. and remain open until 7:30 p.m. Visit the Richland County Board of Elections website for more information.

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City editor. 30-year plus journalist. Husband. Father of 3 grown sons and also a proud grandpa. Prior military journalist in U.S. Navy, Ohio Air National Guard. -- Favorite quote: "Where were you when the page was blank?"