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Charter change narrowly fails

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On Tuesday, Nov. 5, Yellow Springs voters narrowly rejected a measure to make several amendments to the Village Charter, according to unofficial final results from the Greene County Board of Elections.

As the results stood Wednesday morning, 699 voted no on the measure (52.4%) while 635 voted yes (47.6%), a difference of 64 votes.

The amendments would have granted voting rights in Yellow Springs elections to local 16- and 17-year-olds and noncitizens and extended the mayor’s term from two to four years.

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The final official results will be available on Tuesday, Nov. 19.

Village Council members have previously said the amendments were inadvertently combined into one ballot measure and that if the measure failed, they would place the amendments as separate measures on a future ballot.

Reached for comment on Wednesday morning, Council President Brian Housh, who championed the voting rights proposal, reaffirmed that it was not Council’s intention to “bundle” the issues. He added that he was encouraged by the close vote.

“I think [the result] was more about the bundling than not agreeing with the amendments,” Housh said. “I feel good about the response.”

Council will consider placing the amendments on the March 2020 ballot as three separate measures, according to Housh.

If the measure passed, Yellow Springs would have been one of only a handful of municipalities around the country to have expanded voting rights to more members of their communities than traditionally qualify to vote.


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