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Cleveland Politics, Cuyahoga County, State of Ohio

To participate in our democracy – make sure you are registered to vote

(Plain Press, February 2016) This year promises to be an important and exciting year for those voting in local, state and national elections. American citizens, age 18 and older are eligible to vote in elections, but must first register to vote. To vote in Cuyahoga County, you must be a resident of the county for at least 30 days prior to the election. Seventeen year olds who will turn 18 by the November election are eligible to vote in the primary election, but can vote for candidates only. To vote in the March 15 Primary Election you must register to vote 30 days prior to the election.

If you have not voted in a long time, or if you have moved since last voting, you should check to see if your registration is up to date. To do that, visit the Cuyahoga County Board of Elections website at: boe.cuyahogacounty.us to check on your registration status and receive information on how to get up to date. You can also visit the Board of Elections at 2925 Euclid Avenue to check on your registration status.

There are also a number of locations in the neighborhood where you can register to vote. Registration forms are available at the May Dugan Center, 4115 Bridge Avenue; the Spanish American Committee, 4407 Lorain Avenue and at the following high schools: Max Hayes, Lincoln West, Rhodes and John Marshall.

March 15 Ballot

Those wishing to take a look at the March 15th Ballot can view the ballot online at boe.cuyahogacounty.us beginning on January 28th or go to the Board of Elections office for an in person viewing. March 15 is a primary election so ballots will be available for each political party. Candidate races include those for the party nominations for President of the Unites States and United States Senator. By viewing the ballot, you will be able to tell which presidential candidates made it on to the Ohio ballot. There is also an important Cuyahoga County levy on the ballot – the renewal of the Health and Human Services Levy (a renewal of an existing levy – not a tax increase)

Issue 23: Health & Human Services Renewal Levy

The Alcohol Drug Addiction and Mental Health Services (ADAMHS) Board of Cuyahoga County urges Cuyahoga County residents to vote for Issue 23 – the renewal of the Health and Human Services levy. Their statement in support of the levy on the March 15 ballot follows:

Each year hundreds of thousands of families, children and seniors depend on the vital and often lifesaving services available through our county’s health and human service programs. These programs ensure that children are safe in their homes, that the elderly are supported, that healthcare is accessible to all, and that families in poverty are linked with benefit programs providing childcare and nutritional support.

In order to protect these vital programs, the County Executive and Cuyahoga County County Council unanimously supported a measure to place Issue 23, a 4.8 mill renewal levy, on the March 15, 2016 ballot. The levy will be for a period of eight years and is expected to generate an estimated $130 million annually beginning in 2017.

Core Health and Human Services are made possible by two levies. The second, smaller 3.9 mill levy was approved by voters in November 2013. Collections began in 2014 and will continue for five years through 2018.

The cost of Issue 23 to the owner of a $100,000 home will be $147.00 per year based on the effective rate of the ongoing levy.

Issue 23 is Critical for Cuyahoga County

Without voter approval of Issue 23, our community will lose $130 million forcing deep cuts to vital emergency services and programs that protect children, help those living with mental illness, and provide a variety of services that seniors depend on.

Vital human services dependent on levy resources include: 1) Programs that protect children from abuse and neglect. 2) Early childhood and preschool education programs that ensure children enter school healthy and ready to learn. 3) Home health care and support services that make it possible for seniors to continue to live in their own homes. 4) Counseling and treatment programs for children with behavioral health or drug problems. 5) Emergency shelters for the homeless, drug & alcohol treatment programs, counseling for those living with mental illness, poison control & suicide prevention hotlines, rehabilitation for stroke victims and other crisis and prevention services.

The levy-­generated dollars provide the largest share of local support for programs through which County government and local agencies serve the needs of our most vulnerable citizens.  Services are maintained and available for those times when any resident of the county may need assistance with trauma or crisis.

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