BOE certifies petition to change school districts

By D. Anthony Botkin - [email protected]

A petition by residents seeking to change their property’s school district classification has been approved by the Delaware County Board of Elections.

However, before the move can become permanent, the petition must receive the blessing of both the Buckeye Valley Local and Big Walnut Local school districts.

Alisa L. Agin and Keith K. Agin of Sunbury submitted the petition to the Buckeye Valley Local board of education on April 18.

The Agins curently reside on a parcel of land along Twigg Hupp Road in the eastern portion of the Buckeye Valley Local district, north of Sunbury and just east of Interstate 70. They want their property to be reclassified as part of Big Walnut Local.

Board of Elections Director Karla Herron told the board that Buckeye Valley Schools made the request for the signature verification. She said the request was a first for her so she had to look up the rules and procedure for handling the matter.

“We needed to check 75 percent of the qualified electors in the area that want to change school districts,” said Herron. “It is one parcel, two people live there, and both voted in the last election.”

Herron presented the board with the petition, a letter of request for the change in district, and a photo of the parcel where the petitioners live.

Herron said staff checked the petitioners’ signatures against the signatures on their voter registration cards. She said the staff fully agrees that both signatures match the registration cards.

The board unanimously voted in favor of the petition and certified the signatures.

In other business, the board discussed their meeting with county commissioners about the replacement of voting machines.

Earlier in the year Herron reported receiving a directive from Sec. of State Jon Husted’s office to replace all voting machines in the state by 2020. She said Husted asked election boards to meet with their county commissioners before June 1 to see what the future looks like in their county.

Boards were then asked to complete an online survey.

Herron said the board has decided to wait 12 months to see if any of the machines certified will be similar to the ones now used in the county and if the state will offer funding to counties to help purchase the machines.

Herron said cost of the machines had drastically increased and estimated the cost to replace all of the board’s current machines to be $4.5 million. She said the expense of the machines would be reflected in the 2018 budget.

“I looked at the 2014 gubernatorial election and looked at the number of machines we have because we haven’t purchased since then,” Herron said. “We’ve actually increased our voter registration by 12,000.”

Herron said Delaware County had 80 percent voter turnout in 2014.

“Compliance is one machine to 175 voters,” she said.

She said the board was short 60 machines of being in compliance with state regulations.

By D. Anthony Botkin

[email protected]

D. Anthony Botkin may be reached at 740-413-0902 or on Twitter @dabotkin.

D. Anthony Botkin may be reached at 740-413-0902 or on Twitter @dabotkin.