With the special election being far too close to call Tuesday night, the official final results for the Washington Court House City Schools’ (WCHCS) 1 percent earned income tax levy will have to wait until Aug. 17 when the Fayette County Board of Elections certifies the election.
According to unofficial results, 751 City of Washington Court House citizens voted for the passage of the levy and 748 voted against.
“We’ve had smaller races with fewer voters, such as township trustee races, that have been extremely close,” said Beth Ann Snyder, director of the Fayette County Board of Elections. “But it’s rare for an election with this many voters to come down to just a few votes.”
There are still 26 outstanding absentee ballots and 18 provisional ballots that could be counted in the official total, according to officials. Any absentee ballots that would be counted would have to be postmarked this past Monday, Aug. 3, and they must arrive by Aug. 14. No more ballots can be cast at this point.
A provisional ballot is used to record a vote when there are questions about a given voter’s eligibility that must be resolved before the vote can count.
If the election ends in a tie, the WCHCS 1 percent earned income tax levy fails because it needs a majority to pass, according to Snyder.
Out of 7,646 registered voters in the city, 1,500 cast their ballots for a 19.62 percent voter turnout, according to unofficial results.
The precinct breakdown from Tuesday’s unofficial results is as follows:
– Washington 1B: 57 for, 47 against
– Washington 1C: 37 for, 35 against
– Washington 2A: 19 for, 48 against
– Washington 3A: 27 for, 55 against
– Washington 3D: 129 for, 111 against
– Washington 3F: 144 for, 128 against
– Washington 4A: 147 for, 144 against
– Washington 4B: 59 for, 74 against
– Washington 4C: 37 for, 30 against
– Washington 4D: 33 for, 29 against
If this seven-year, 1 percent earned income tax levy passes, it will generate approximately $1.8 million annually for the district, beginning Jan. 1, 2021.
Residents of the WCHCS district who earn wages, salaries and tips would be taxed. Income that will not be taxed if the levy passes: retirement income, pensions, property, Social Security, unemployment, disability and survivor benefits, welfare benefits, child support, interests, dividends, and capital gains.
The average citizen in Washington C.H. would pay $1.08 a day.
“Overall, the election ran smoothly,” said Snyder. “We enacted the new COVID procedures, so we readjusted the layouts at the polling locations and made sure that proper social distancing was in place for the voters and the poll workers. We offered masks to the voters and we provided masks and shields to the poll workers.”
The Fayette County Board of Elections also received a visit from Ohio Secretary of State Frank LaRose and some of his staff members Tuesday during the special election.
“It was nice to have them here as there were only a few special elections throughout the state,” said Snyder. “They really got to take a good look at our operation. They showed a great interest and were very complimentary.”
Reach Ryan Carter at 740-313-0352.