PS issue reliant on provisional ballots

By Kelsey Kimbler -

CAMDEN — On Tuesday, May 2, voters in the Preble Shawnee Local School District had a chance to approve a ballot issue to construct two new school buildings, but official results will not be available until early June, according to Preble Shawnee Superintendent Matt Bishop.

Unofficial results showed Butler and Montgomery Counties voting against the issue, with Preble County voting for the bond initiative by 21 votes, but the issue was still down by a total of 13 votes. However, provisional ballots have yet to be counted.

The deciding factor will come down to those provisional ballots in Montgomery and Preble County. A provisional ballot is used to record a vote when there are questions about a voter’s eligibility. A provisional ballot would be cast when: the voter refuses to show a photo ID, the voter’s name does not appear on the electoral roll for the given precinct, the voter’s registration contains inaccurate or out of date information, or the voter’s ballot has already been recorded.

Whether a provisional ballot is counted or not is contingent upon the verification of that voter’s eligibility.

Voters were asked on May 2 to approve a .75 percent income tax levy, and the issuance of bonds in the amount of $9 million, in order to construct a new Junior/Senior High School and a new Camden Elementary, as well as a $2.5 million tax levy throughout the life of the bonds to pay the interest on and retire the bonds.

According to school officials, the estimated local share would be $7.29 per month for a $100,000 home in the Preble Shawnee School District. Additionally, the .75 percent income tax for permanent improvements would have been used in conjunction with the bond issue to pay the cost of the proposed building projects.

The same plan came before voters in November and was rejected by 278 votes (2,316-2,038).

According to Superintendent Bishop, “Where we stand currently, we’re still 13 votes down from passage of the bond issue. We still have provisional ballots that will be counted in Preble County and Montgomery County. I don’t believe there are any provisional ballots in Butler County. We think that May 18 is the date that Preble County will be looking at those ballots and determining which ones are good and bad. The ones that are good will be yes or no. Montgomery County is going to do the same thing on May 23.

“Once those are all tabulated, we’re pretty confident that it is going to be a recount. So then Montgomery and Butler will recount theirs and then Preble County will select one precinct and hand count that precinct, and then run everything through the machine. Once that’s finished, I think that could be maybe 5-10 days after Montgomery County certifies, because they are one of the last ones [to certify]. This could drag on until early June.”

By Kelsey Kimbler

Reach Kelsey Kimbler at 937-683-4061 or on Twitter @KKimbler_RH

Reach Kelsey Kimbler at 937-683-4061 or on Twitter @KKimbler_RH