OUR VIEW: Your vote makes a difference

Credit: Nick Graham

Credit: Nick Graham

Last November, a Xenia Schools income tax renewal levy failed to pass by a margin of one vote out of 12,600.

Races determined by a single vote don’t happen very often, but when they do, it certainly drives home the point: Every vote is important.

That Xenia Schools levy is back on the May ballot, along with a number of other important issues and races across the region.

Local elections have major impact. The Troy mayoral race, a race for Miamisburg Municipal Court Judge and a closely watched Dayton City Commission race to narrow the field of candidates to four for the November election can change the direction of leadership in those communities.

There are also school tax levies in Huber Heights, Mad River, Vandalia-Butler and Northmont, along with a revised police tax levy returning to the ballot in Beavercreek. Xenia Twp. will have a road tax levy and a fire tax levy. Your vote gives you a say in these issues: how much your taxes go up and what level of services — the condition of your roads, the quality of your schools, the fire protection — that you want in your community.

Electing qualified leaders and ensuring a high level of services while also maintaining our area’s affordable cost of living is key to the long-term health of our communities. As we have reported in stories about the new Intel and Honda investments bringing jobs to Ohio, attracting and retaining a skilled workforce is an important regional priority. Protecting and improving the wellbeing of our existing residents while also meeting the expectations of those individuals and families relocating here can be decided in part by the votes you cast in local elections.

This election will also be the first in which new changes will take effect from a voter ID law passed by state legislators and signed by Gov. Mike DeWine in January. The law requires voters to prove their identity with photo identification when casting a ballot in-person. The law also changes the timeline in which absentee voters can mail their ballots.

The law could create barriers to voting for those who are used to using other documents such as utility bills, bank statements, paychecks or other government-issued documents — such as county-issued veteran ID cards — that list a person’s name and address. Those people will need to obtain and bring an Ohio drivers license, state ID, military ID or passport to vote in person.

According to its sponsors, the voter ID law was intended to prevent voter fraud, which has not been documented to exist in Ohio at any meaningful rate. According to the Associated Press, the total possible nationwide voter fraud in the 2020 election was roughly 0.0005%.

We urge you to take your civic duty seriously, especially in an off-year election where a lack of national races can lead to lower voter turnout. Educate yourself on the issues at stake in your community, and be sure to read about the changes to Ohio voting law so you or someone you know won’t be surprised if you try to vote with documentation that is no longer accepted at polling locations.

You never know when the vote you cast could be the vote that determines the outcome of an election. Don’t give up that power this May.

New Voter ID Law Changes

- The deadline to register to vote in Ohio’s May 2 election is April 3, with early voting beginning on April 4.

- The law also requires the Bureau of Motor Vehicles to issue state ID cards to Ohioans 17 and older who request them at no charge.

- The timeline for early, in-person voting is changing. The Monday before election day, for example, was removed from the early voting calendar. Hours lost on that day were distributed throughout the week before it.

- The number of drop-off boxes for absentee ballots are limited to one per county.

- Absentee ballots must also now be requested a full week before Election Day, as opposed to the previous Saturday by noon.

- Curbside voting is now limited to Ohio voters who cannot physically enter their polling location.

Follow our election coverage at daytondailynews.com/election

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