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Yellow Springs Voters Reject Ballot Issue To Lower Village Voting Age

The number of African American-owned businesses has fallen sharply in Yellow Springs from its peak four decades ago. Only a handful remain in the village.
Jess Mador

In Tuesday’s election, Yellow Springs voters rejected Village Charter Amendment 13, a proposal that would have allowed residents as young as 16 years old to vote in village races.

The measure failed with 52.4 percent of voters rejecting the ballot issue, and 47.6 percent voting in favor.  

The all-or-nothing issue amending the village charter would also have extended the village mayor’s term from two years to four years beginning in 2021, and it would have allowed immigrants with green cards or other legal United States residency to vote on village issues.

Issue 13 would have allowed 16-year-olds and 17-year-olds to cast votes in council races, races for mayor and on any village-specific initiatives. They would not have been able to vote on issues affecting the township, county, school district, state or federal issues. 

Approval of the measure would have made Yellow Springs the first municipality in Ohio to allow so-called inclusionary voting, joining the village with other municipalities that have already enacted similar changes to their local voting laws, including Takoma Park, Md.