August 18, 2012
RYAN SCOTT OTTNEY
PDT Staff Writer
The Scioto County Board of Elections met Saturday morning for their regular meeting, and to certify the results of the Aug. 7 special election for Green Local School District.
The district requested, and paid for, the special election to ask voters to support a $475,000 local tax levy. Voters first rejected the levy during the March election by a vote of 684-660. They rejected the levy again in the special election, with the unofficial count recording 562 against and 506 in favor.
During the meeting of the Board of Elections on Saturday, the final, official count was recorded as 509 in favor to 566 against. About 39 percent of the five voting precincts in Green Township turned out to vote. There were 11 provisional ballots, but two were dismissed because they were not registered voters and two more were not counted because they had already been scanned at the polling place; leaving only seven new provisional ballots to count.
Following the special election earlier this month, Green Superintendent Sandy Mers said she felt defeated.
“It crushed me, especially for the kids and the teachers. I had three teachers that worked their heart and soul for this. They care about the school; we all care about the kids and their education, and it’s defeating. It really is,” she said.
Mers said without the levy, the school could fall into fiscal watch, caution, or emergency status with the Ohio Department of Education. The school has already suffered many cuts, including 17.5 positions which have been eliminated since 2006.
She said the district will present the levy again — for a third time — in the November election.
The Board also discussed written complaints they have received from voters in the district.
Two voters were upset that they were not asked for a photo identification at the poll and at least one of them was worried about voter-fraud and demanded a re-vote. Board member Rodney Barnett asked if the signatures had been verified, and Director Teresa Knittle assured that they had been. Barnett said they would not allow an immediate re-vote, but noted that the voters will get another chance to vote when the issue appears on the November ballot.
Another complaint came from a voter upset that polling officials had posted the results on their personal Facebook page. The complainant submitted copies of the poll worker’s Facebook posts, which were time stamped at about 5 a.m. and 7 p.m. — before and after the election. The Board decided that because the results are public record and the posts were not made during the polling hours, they would not pursue action against the poll worker.
It was later decided that the Board would confer with the Ohio Secretary of State and/or Scioto County Prosecutor’s office for direction on how to proceed with policies concerning texting and social media during polling hours.
After accepting the results of the special election, the Board entered into its regular meeting.
During the meeting, the Board accepted a request by Rush Township Trustees to move the Rush precincts B and D polling location from the maintenance building on Baker Street to the Senior Citizens’ building on McDermott Pond Creek Road. The Board also voted to employ poll workers for the November election.
Finally, the Board voted to certify petitions for local issues and liquor options for the November election.
The Green Local School District is asking the residents of Green Township for an additional 7 mills for providing for emergency requirements of the school district. Green Township will also be asking its residents for an additional 0.5 mill levy for cemeteries.
The village of New Boston will ask for the renewal of a 1 mill levy for current expenses. The village of South Webster will ask for the renewal of a 1 mill levy for current expenses. Clay Township will be asking for a replacement levy of 1.5 mills for roads, and a replacement 1.25 mills for fire equipment. Harrison Township will ask residents for a replacement levy of 2 mills for resurfacing roads. Morgan Township will ask to renew a 1 mill levy for fire protection. Rush Township will ask for a replacement lever with increase of 3.25 mills for police protection. Valley Township will ask for a replacement levy of 1.5 mills for EMS, and also for an additional 2.75 mills for a sheriff’s deputy, and Washington Township will ask for a replacement levy of 2 mills for roads and bridges.
Among liquor option requests, the Board certified petitions for Frank-N-Steins in Portsmouth to ask voters for Sunday sales, First Stop in Portsmouth to ask voters for the ability to sell beer, Walmart in New Boston to ask voters for Sunday sales, Frank’s Place in New Boston to ask voters for Sunday sales, BG’s Food Mart in New Boston to ask voters for Sunday sales, The First Stop Rarden Village is asking to be able to sell beer, Crazy Coo in Green to ask voters for the ability to sell beer and wine and mixed beverages and for Sunday sales, the First Stop in Jefferson to ask voters for the ability to sell beer, and B&B Mobil Food and Catering Porter to ask voters for the ability to sell beer and wine and mixed beverage.
The only petition that was denied by the Board of Elections was a liquor option request to sell beer at the Fire House in Bloom Township. The Board said the request needed 101 valid signatures, and while it turned in more than 120 signatures only 62 were valid.
Ryan Scott Ottney can be reached at 740-353-3101, ext. 235, or firstname.lastname@example.org.