Wednesday , 21 February 2024

Ridgeville School Levy Too Close to Call

The $190 Million school bond issue on the May 2 ballot in support of North Ridgeville Schools failed.

Or did it?

In a curiously low voter turnout, election day count had the issue failing by just 37 votes – 3,566 for and 3,603 again. A 37 vote margin.

But, and it’s a big but, there were still 96 absentee and provisional ballots still outstanding.

In other words, the election was too close to call. And that is the way the School District is going to look at it until they hear otherwise from the Lorain County Board of Elections.

When will that be? Good question. The answer: When they are done counting.

North Ridgeville has 25,403 registered voters. Only 7,168 turned out to vote. That’s 28.34 % in the biggest election on the ballot this time out.

So now we wait for the absentee and provisional ballots are counted.

What’s provisional ballot? According to the Office of Frank Larose, Secretary of State, “A provisional ballot is used to record a vote if a voter’s eligibility is in question and the voter would otherwise not be permitted to vote at his or her polling place. The content of a provisional ballot is no different from a regular ballot, but it is cast “provisionally” until election officials can verify the voter’s eligibility to vote in the particular precinct at that election.

“There are several scenarios in which a voter may cast a provisional ballot. A provisional ballot may be used on Election Day if a voter’s eligibility is in question, or before (or on) Election Day if a voter has recently changed his or her address and did not update his or her voter registration.”

What scenario would cause you to cast a provisional ballot?

  • Your name does not appear on the official poll list for that precinct, or an election official asserts that you are not eligible to vote or is unable to determine your eligibility;
  • You are unable to provide photo identification. For more information on what is acceptable as proof of identity for voting, follow this link for Photo Identification Requirements.
  • Your name appears on the official poll list for that precinct as having already requested an absentee ballot;
  • Your name is marked on the poll list or signature book with a notation that certain registration mailings have been returned as undeliverable;
  • Your voter registration has been challenged and/or a hearing on a challenge to your eligibility as an elector has been postponed until after Election Day; or
  • Your signature, in the opinion of the precinct officers, does not match the signature on your registration form.

So, in other words, it might take a little time to finalize those provisional ballots.

Now, when the final tally comes in, what happens if the school bond issue fails? You guessed it: It goes on the ballot again, in another form, maybe as early as August and surely in November.

The schools have no choice.  They can’t live with larger class sizes. They can’t renovate and secure statement when renovations cost more than 2/3rds of new construction, there will be fewer course offerings and STEM opportunities, the broken gas lines at the high school will leave the science rooms closed and schools will remain grossly overpopulated. The high school was built for 900 students and now has more that 1400.Liberty Elementary was built for 520 students and now has more than 600. The library has been divided to make musics classes and closets have been turned into classrooms.

So, what’s the School Board to do? Keep asking. Until it passes.

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