Baldwin voters share concern over ballot - WBRC FOX6 News - Birmingham, AL

Baldwin voters share concern over ballot

BAY MINETTE, AL (WALA) -

With a special referendum election just a week away, supporters and opponents of a tax increase for Baldwin County schools are asking for your vote. So what questions do voters face? FOX10 News got a copy of the actual ballot voters will see on Tuesday.

Absentee voting on the 8 mill ad valorem tax to build new schools will wrap up this Thursday. As of Tuesday, the Baldwin County Clerk's Office has received 279 absentee votes. Election officials said that's about average for a special election of this type. At the last special election to implement the original one percent sales tax for schools in 2010, 301 absentee voters turned in their ballot before the election.

FOX10 News showed a ballot to some Baldwin County voters today to see how easy it is to interpret.

“I believe it's broken down pretty well. You know, I don't have any problem understanding it. I don't think anybody that will be voting will have any problem understanding it,” said Robert McMillan

“I think they're kind of undecided on what they're really trying to understand with all this. It's still a little unclear,” said Craig Elam

The majority of voters live in District 2 and will have five proposals to vote on. Three are renewals of existing millage school tax. The other two are new tax proposals. One for a five mill increase and the other for a three mill increase. Voters in District 1, in the northernmost part of the county will only have three proposals. Those who spoke with Fox 10 News Tuesday think the School Board may have made a mistake by putting the renewals, two of which are set to expire in 2016 on the same ballot with the new tax proposal.

“I think their best option would have been to put a uh, to try the renewal at a separate time than the additional taxes. I think it's unfortunate for them,” McMillan said.

When Jeff Burgess was asked if he thought it could work against the schools, he responded, “It very well could. Yes. It could be…maybe like you said, they'll just mark ‘No' on all of it.”

There are almost 125,000 registered voters in Baldwin County. At the last special election to implement the original one percent sales tax for schools in 2010, only 38,000 cast their vote. All parties are hoping for a better turnout this coming Tuesday.

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