Why just a tiny sliver of Butler County voters will decide on pocketbook issues this spring

Credit: DaytonDailyNews

How to vote on Butler County's new voting machines

Credit: DaytonDailyNews

Early voting started in Ohio this week, but the vast majority of Butler County voters will not have ballots to cast in the May special election.

Just several dozen county voters will decide on a pair of levies coming out of Preble County.

The College Corner and Preble Shawnee school districts based in Preble County are set to have tax issues in the special election. The deadline to place the issues on the May special election ballot was Wednesday.

There are 185 registered Butler County voters within the two districts. That’s 0.072% of the nearly 257,000 registered voters in Butler County.

Special elections can happen every year if a governmental entity places an initiative before voters ahead of the November general election. If the ballot initiative fails in the spring, officials can ask the voters again in November, either with the same levy request or an adjusted amount.

In Ohio, special elections are held on the first Tuesday after the first Monday in May, August or November (they can be held on the same day as a primary or general election), according to the Ohio Secretary of State’s Office.

There are other nuances to special elections, such as a May special election isn’t permitted during presidential election years unless authorized by a municipal or county charter. But all special elections are paid for by the local entity requesting a ballot initiative. Primary and general elections, where candidates are nominated and/or elected to positions, are paid for by the county.

The boards of elections cost of the Preble Shawnee and College Corner tax issues have yet to be calculated, but it could run a few thousand dollars based on the number of precincts in each district, according to election officials and historical data.

Preble Shawnee, which has nearly 1,400 students within the district, has 52 registered voters in one precinct in northern Butler County. They’ll help decide in the May 4 primary if a $0.75 income tax levy should pass or fail.

Nearly 3,000 voters in both counties voted against the levy in November’s general election, 37 of which came from Butler County. The levy failed with 63.1 percent of the vote, according to election results.

The College Corner district is part of the Union County–College Corner Joint State School District. College Corner is asking for a 6.5-mill,five-year renewal levy, according to the Preble County Board of Elections. The cost for the homeowner wasn’t available from the Preble County Auditor’s office on Thursday, but officials said it does include some reductions.

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