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Library Levies Overwhelmingly Pass Despite Low Primary Voter Turnout

polling preinct hudson ohio 2021.jpg
Andrew Meyer
A polling precinct in Hudson, Ohio, midday, during the 2021 primary.

Despite low turnout in yesterday’s primary election, voters in parts of Northeast Ohio made some key decisions about the future of their cities.

Voters in Medina approved a proposal to start work on moving their municipal court to the historic county courthouse on the town square. Issue 1 was the latest move in an ongoing dispute between the city and a group of residents who feel proposals to move the city court have been ill-conceived. The city says the move is necessary to meet modern security standards, such as keeping court personnel separated from witnesses and people on trial. The issue passed by just 102 votes.

There were also a number of library levies on the ballot which overwhelmingly passed, including four in Lorain County: Oberlin, Avon Lake, Sheffield Lake, and Lorain Public. Library officials had said that if they failed, hours would likely be reduced and branch closures could be a possibility. In Summit County, the Hudson Library and the Akron-Summit County system passed levies, as did Dover in Tuscarawas County.

Many of those libraries receive more than half of their funding from the levies, with the remainder coming from state funding at levels which are uncertain due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Kabir Bhatia is a senior reporter for Ideastream Public Media's arts & culture team.