The Star Beacon; Ashtabula, Ohio

Local News

May 6, 2013

Only issues make ballot

Not much excitement generated

JEFFERSON — An all-issues special election Tuesday isn’t generating a lot of excitement among voters, officials said.

Early voting numbers, usually a barometer of action anticipated at polling places, have been sluggish at best, said Carol Lovas, Ashtabula County Board of Elections director. As of late Friday morning, only 765 people had cast an early ballot, either by absentee or in person at the election board office, she said.

Election officials estimated between 15 and 20 percent of the county’s nearly 65,000 registered voters will participate in the special election. By comparison, in November 68 percent of eligible voters helped pick a president and a number of federal, state and county officials.

Still, the majority of the county’s voters have the chance to participate on Tuesday. Seventy of the 104 precincts are impacted to some degree by issues on the ballot.

Tuesday’s line-up features 10 issues, including three school levies. There’s nary a candidate to be found. That changes in November when the ballot will be awash with office-seekers, including township trustees and council and school board members.

Here’s a look at the issues:

• Ashtabula — There’s two measures for voters in the city to decide. One would retain the 1.8 percent municipal income tax for another three years, while the other would restructure the auditor’s office

• Geneva City — Increase the municipal income tax from 1.5 to 2 percent

• Geneva-on-the-Lake — Four-year, 1.5-mill road/bridge replacement levy

• Harpersfield Township — Five-year, 1-mill road/bridge renewal levy

• Ashtabula Area City Schools — Five-year, additional 6.2-mill emergency levy

• Geneva Union Cemeteries District — Five-year, additional 0.5-mill for cemeteries

• Grand Valley Public Library — Continuing additional 2-mill levy

• Jefferson Area Local Schools — Five-year, 4.5-mill renewal levy for current expenses

• Ledgemont Local Schools District — Additional 14.7 mills to avoid an operating deficit

Tuesday’s election will be the first since board members consolidated some precincts earlier this year. Twenty-three precincts were blended to help improve efficiency and cut costs.

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