Even though Butler County is the seventh-most populous of Ohio’s 88 counties, it produced a sparse ballot last week with only one tax issue for voters in one rural school district to decide on.
But that won’t last in the coming months.
The traditionally crowded fall ballot will return to form in November as locally elected city and village council seats, school board races and school taxes issues may be decided by voters across Butler County.
Tuesday’s election saw only Ross schools with an issue for its residents to decide, and voters there easily approved a .05 percent earned income tax increase for their schools.
And while the Aug. 6 election in Ohio also is an option for school tax issues and other local tax ballot issues, it’s a rarely used ballot window compared to the November election day, which annually is the busiest election in the state.
Some area schools are waiting for the Ohio Legislature to finish by June 30 the state’s biennium process, which will determine for many districts how much state funding for schools will be coming their way through June 2021.
Once the new state budget is approved, school districts will evaluate and re-calculate their five-year financial projections, which are state mandated, and then some may decide to put local school tax issues on the Nov. 5 ballot.
And regardless of whether local schools go for any tax hikes, voters will decide on at least two open school board seats in their local school systems when they go to the polls on that day.
The number of school board seats in Ohio are determined by school enrollment size and in Butler County, all 10 public school districts have five-member boards.
Every chance local voters have to decide on a local issue or political office is an important time, said officials at Butler County’s Board of Elections office.
“Whether it’s a presidential general election or a special election for a school issue, our attitude at the board of elections is always the same: every election and every vote matters,” said Diane Noonan, director of the board of elections.
“We recognize any election will affect the daily lives of Butler County residents in education, public safety and economic development,” said Noonan.
Eric Corbin, deputy director of the Butler County Board of Elections, said though November’s election day is months off, those wanting to vote earlier can act now to make sure they receive early-voting ballots.
“They can request a ballot by mail starting now, which will be mailed on October 8, 2019 or they can vote in-person beginning that same day at the board of elections until the day before the election,” said Corbin.
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