Stow, Munroe Falls voters will have city and school issues to decide in Nov. 3 election

LAURA FREEMAN Reporter
Residents will have to decide whether to vote in person Nov. 3 or mail in absentee ballots this year.

STOW — The Board of Education July 20 unanimously approved the superintendent’s recommendation to close schools on Nov. 3 for the general election to guarantee the safety of all students.

The teachers will use the day as a professional development day for staff only. No students will report to school on Nov. 3.

The three schools in Stow-Munroe Falls which are used by the Summit County Board of Elections include Echo Hills and Woodland elementary schools and Kimpton Middle School.

Nearby churches are willing to become voting locations but do not meet the ADA requirements without expensive upgrades and schools have been closed in past years for election day.

School board president Jason Whitacre said he objected to the use of the schools as a polling place especially because of COVID-19 and voted against the contract for the Summit County Board of Elections using the buildings, which passed 4 to 1.

Superintendent Tom Bratten said extra cleaning would be done after the voting on Nov. 3. 

Deadlines are approaching for voters. To check if a resident is registered to vote or find a polling location, go to https://voterlookup.ohiosos.gov. Voters need to be registered 30 days before the election or Oct. 5 for the Nov. 3 election. Information is included at the site about precincts and the districts for state representative and senators.

Filing deadlines include Aug. 5 by 4 p.m. for nonpartisan, issues and local options.

The Stow-Munroe Falls School Board July 20 also approved two renewal levies to be placed on the Nov. 3 ballot. The $4.6 million renewal levy is for five years and was previously approved May 5, 2015 for collections in 2017 through 2021. The $6.5 million renewal levy is for 10 years and was previously approved Nov. 8, 2011 for collection in 2012 through 2021.

The five-year renewal levy for $4.6 million averages 4.65 mills or $0.465 for each $100 of valuation. The 10-year renewal levy for $6.5 million averages 6.53 mills or $0.653 for each $100 of valuation. If passed, collection would begin in 2022.

Sept. 4 by 4 p.m. is the deadline for charter amendments.

The city of Stow’s Charter Review Commission submitted nine charter amendments to Stow City Council on July 23 but council did not move them out of committee. Council has one more meeting on Aug. 6 to take action before they take a break. 

Law Director Jaime Syx said council could pass the amendments through emergency action or they would have to call a special meeting. A Charter Review Commission meeting is scheduled Aug. 7.

Council president Sindi Harrison has called a special meeting July 31 to engage Roetzel & Andress as outside legal counsel to provide advice regarding sections of the Stow City Charter relating to the duties and rights of Stow City Council.

Voters can apply for an absentee ballot any time before noon on Oct. 31 by going to the Summit County Board of Elections website www.summitcountyboe.gov and downloading an Absentee Ballot Application and hand deliver or mail it to Summit County Board of Elections Absentee Department, 470 Grant Street, Akron 44311.

The Ohio Secretary of State will not allow Absentee Ballots to be sent out by the Summit County Board of Elections until Oct. 6.

The last day for absentee voting is at 2 p.m. Nov. 2. Do not drop absentee ballots off at a polling location. They will not be counted. All absentee ballots must be postmarked by Nov. 2 and received within 10 days after Election Day.

Polls on Nov. 3 will be open at 6:30 a.m. and close at 7:30 p.m. Anyone who has voted with an absentee ballot cannot vote in person. 

Gannett reporter Laura Freeman can be reached at lfreeman@recordpub.com