Early voting for the Aug. 6 special election began Tuesday but officials are predicting a low turnout.
In May, about 18.1 percent of registered voters cast ballots in Clark County and Clark County Board of Elections Director Matthew Tlachac is expecting a similar turnout in August.
“We’re anticipating it to be similar to May, perhaps a little higher,” Tlachac said.
Voters can cast ballots from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday in Clark County. The deadline for in-person absentee voting is noon Aug. 3. Voters can also request an absentee ballot to be mailed to them.
In larger elections, the board sees a higher absentee turnout, but Tlachac doesn’t expect that to be the case for this ballot.
“The nature of how special elections are run, they’re not as advertised and maybe people aren’t aware,” Tlachac said.
In Champaign County, voter turnout was approximately 20 percent in May. Champaign County Board of Elections Director Kathy A. Meyer also is estimating a low turnout for August, but said it’s hard to predict for a special election.
“Schools do generally push out a few more people,” Meyer said. “If we have 12 to 15 percent, I’d be surprised.”
The Champaign County Board of Elections will be open from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. July 8, the last day to register to vote for the special election. It will also have extended hours – 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. – from July 22 to Aug. 2.
On Aug. 3, the final day for in-person absentee voting, it will be open from 8 a.m. to noon.
All board of elections locations will be closed on Thursday for the July 4 holiday. The Clark County Board of Elections will also be closed on July 5.
In Clark County, voters will decide three school issues, including:
• Clark-Shawnee Local School District’s 10-year, 7.95-mill levy. It is back on the ballot after it failed in May. The property tax would generate more than $2.49 million per year. If approved, the tax would cost the owner of a $100,000 home about $232 per year. The tax was initially rejected in May by eight votes.
• Tecumseh Local School District’s 12.37-mill levy. It is back on the ballot after voters rejected it in May. The district faces a state takeover if the levy isn’t approved by 2014. The district may also place the levy on the November ballot if defeated. The five-year property tax would generate $3.5 million per year, and cost the owner of a $100,000 home about $378 per year.
• Northeastern Local School District’s 1 percent earned income tax on currently employed residents. The district faces cuts to staffing and busing if the income tax request fails. It would generate $4 million annually. The district has cut about $1.3 million from its budget in the past 15 months. It also added pay-to-participate fees for sports.
In Champaign County, voters will cast ballots for two school issues — West Liberty-Salem Local Schools and Northeastern.
West Liberty-Salem is seeking a combination income tax and bond levy to raise money for a school renovation project with the Ohio Facilities Construction Committee. The request includes a 0.25 percent income tax on residents for 23 years and a 27-year, 3.62-mill bond levy. The property tax will cost the owner of a $100,000 home about $114 a year.
The combined tax could raise up to $11 million to pay for the local share of renovations.
The deadline to register to vote in the Aug. 6 election — or to update voting information due to a change of address — is July 8.
For more information on the special election visit the Clark County Board of Elections website at www.electionsonthe.net/oh/clark/ or call 937-521-2120.
Champaign County voters can get more information at the Champaign County Board of Elections website at www.electionsonthe.net/oh/champaign/ or call 937-484-1575.
Statewide voting information is available at MyOhioVote.com.