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Register to vote by Oct. 5

The deadline to register to vote in the Nov. 3 election is less than two weeks away. Oct. 5 is the last day to sign up.

Besides a choice of candidates for president, the ballot will include Issue 68, a levy renewal and increase for CMSD schools.

The Board of Education voted in July to seek renewal of a 15-mill levy and ask voters to add 5 mills.

The issue is for operating expenses. Approval would help the District to continue progress made under The Cleveland Plan and pay for needs caused by the COVID-19 outbreak.

Approval would add $7 a month for a median-value Cleveland home. The levy would come up for renewal in 10 years. Voters first passed the levy in 2012 and renewed it four years ago, both times by comfortable margins.

“We know this is a particularly difficult time to ask for an increase, and because of that we have worked to keep the amount as small as possible,” CEO Eric Gordon said when the school board placed the levy on the ballot. “But we believe the need to build on our eight-year record of progress, combined with the new educational needs created by the COVID-19 pandemic, make it necessary.”

Charter schools that partner with CMSD share 1 mill from the existing levy and would divide an additional half-mill from the increase. The Cleveland Plan, a customized blueprint for education reform in the city, calls for giving every student access to a high-quality education, regardless of the provider.

If the levy is not renewed, it will expire at the end of December. CEO Gordon has said that losing the revenue would result in cuts being made as early as January 2021 to staff and programs that are critical to continuing the District’s success.

To register to vote or update your address, go to boe.cuyahogacounty.gov. The site also includes information on voting by mail, polling locations and more.