Tuesday, May 6, 2003

Low voter turnout expected

By Erica Solvig
The Cincinnati Enquirer

Butler and Warren county officials estimate that only about 20 to 25 percent of registered voters will head to the polls for today's special election.

Polls are open from 6:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. Some precincts have been condensed because of the limited number of issues on the ballot. Voters in those areas should have already received a letter of notification from their county's board of elections.
That estimate is based on the limited number of absentee ballots received.

About 300 have been turned in by Warren County voters, and 136 in Butler County.

"That's very light, and if that's an indicator, then we're in trouble," Butler County Board of Elections Director Bob Mosketti said.

"We're looking at 20 to 25 percent (voter turnout), but probably closer to 20. I'm hoping for more, though."

Special elections typically have a lower turnout than November elections. Today's chance of thunderstorms also could dampen turnout, officials said.

Topping the Warren County issues is Kings Local Schools' 4.5-mill bond issue, needed to fund $43 million in renovations and additions to the high school and junior high. The 28-year bond issue would increase taxes on a $100,000 home about $137 a year.

Kings board President Konrad Kircher said the strong opinions both in favor and against the issue have mobilized voters.

"I think the opposition has energized the supporters, and there are a lot of people who want to go out and show their support," Kircher said.

E-mail esolvig@enquirer.com

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