The democracy of down ballot issues.

THE ELECTION IS RIGHT AROUND THE CORNER, BUT THE BALLOT INCLUDES MORE THAN JUST CANDIDATES! HELLO EVERYONE! I’M RICK JACKSON. THANKS FOR JOINING US.

IN LESS THAN A WEEK, AMERICANS HEAD TO THE POLLS, TO FINALLY PUT AN END TO THE 2016 ELECTION. WE’LL EMERGE WITH A NEW PRESIDENT, AND, IN OHIO, WE’LL ALSO BE ELECTING A SENATOR – EITHER TED STRICKLAND, OR THE INCUMBENT -- ROB PORTMAN. BUT,

THROUGHOUT THE STATE, THERE ARE MANY OTHER ELECTIONS DOWN BALLOT. DOWN BALLOT REFERS TO LOCAL ELECTIONS, WHICH TEND TO BE FOUND IN A LOWER POSITION ON BALLOTS. BUT JUST BECAUSE THEY’RE DOWN THE BALLOT DOES NOT MEAN THEY’RE UNIMPORTANT. IN FACT, IF YOU’RE WATCHING THIS IN A CLASSROOM, SOME OF THESE RACES “COULD’ AFFECT YOU! FROM CLEVELAND, TO COLUMBUS, TO CINCINNATI, VOTERS ARE CONSIDERING 151 DIFFERENT KINDS OF TAXES – WHICH ARE INTENDED TO BENEFIT LOCAL SCHOOL DISTRICTS.

IN COLUMBUS, ISSUE 57 ASKS PROPERTY OWNERS TO PAY MORE TAXES TO HIRE MORE TEACHERS AND MAKE IMPROVEMENTS TO THE SCHOOL BUILDINGS – SUCH AS REPAIRING LEAKY ROOFS AND REPLACING FIRE ALARMS. IN CINCINNATI, ISSUE 44 ASKS FOR MONEY TO IMPROVE AND EXPAND THE PUBLIC PRESCHOOL PROGRAM. AND CLEVELAND’S ISSUE 108 SEEKS A FOUR YEAR RENEWAL OF A 2012 SCHOOL TAX.

ASIDE FROM SCHOOLS, VOTERS ARE CONSIDERING TAX INCREASES TO FUND THINGS INCLUDING PARKS, HOSPITALS, AND ROADS. ALSO ON BALLOTS ACROSS THE STATE, ARE CHANGES TO ZONING LAWS. ZONING LAWS DESIGNATE LAND IN A CITY FOR SPECIFIC USES – THEY TELL DEVELOPERS WHERE THEY CAN BUILD STORES AND HOMES, FOR INSTANCE.

SO, THERE’S A LOT AT STAKE IN THOSE DOWN BALLOT RACES. BUT MOST NEWS COVERAGE – INCLUDING OUR COVERAGE -- HAS BEEN FOCUSED ON THE TOP OF THE BALLOT: THE PRESIDENTIAL RACE. AND, THIS WEEK, WE’RE GOING TO ASK YOU TO CAST YOUR VOTE IN OUR NEWSDEPTH PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION.

Instructional Links

Lesson Plan: Smithsonian National Museum of American History, Who Represents You?

http://amhistory.si.edu/ourstory/pdf/suffrage/suffrage_represents.pdf

Website Article: Ballotpedia, Ohio

https://ballotpedia.org/Ohio

Lesson Plan & Video: PBS NewsHour, Down Ballot Voting

http://www.pbs.org/newshour/extra/lessons_plans/down-ballot-voting-lesson-plan/

Website Article: Time for Kids

http://www.timeforkids.com/news/understanding-issues/463771

Website Article: Real Clear Politics, Ohio Senate - Portman vs. Strickland

http://www.realclearpolitics.com/epolls/2016/senate/oh/ohio_senate_portman_vs_strickland-5386.html

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