STOW -- Voters will have an opportunity to decide whether they want to eliminate primaries for city offices.

City Council approved 6-0 on April 27 an ordinance to place on this year's November general election ballot an issue asking voters whether they want to amend the city's charter to eliminate the September primary. Councilor John Pribonic was absent.

The ordinance was introduced by Council Vice President Matt Riehl on March 23. Council voted down a competing ordinance April 13, introduced by Council president Mike Rasor in December, that would have moved the primaries forward to May.

Riehl said eliminating primaries is appropriate for a non-partisan community such as Stow.

He said it would also address the same concerns raised by Rasor when he introduced his proposal, including widening the window that the Summit County Board of Elections has for mailing ballots to Stow residents living overseas, particularly those serving in the military, as well as save the city money. Riehl said it would also give voters more choices during the general election and shorten the campaign season.

For more on this story, see the May 7 issue of the Stow Sentry.