Turnout light for Lee bond vote

Adam Robison | Daily Journal Gene Tice turns in his ballot in Saltillo as his wife Nancy waits.

Adam Robison | Daily Journal
Gene Tice turns in his ballot in Saltillo as his wife Nancy waits.

By Chris Kieffer

Daily Journal

TUPELO – Turnout has been light for the Lee County School District’s bond election.
Polls will remain open until 7 p.m. in 31 of the county’s 38 precincts. The election is for voters who live in the Lee County School District.
“It has been kind of quiet today, and from all accounts, turn out is low,” said Lee County Circuit Clerk Joyce Loftin.
In Shannon, 26 people had voted as of 11:15 a.m., while 110 had voted in Saltillo by 12:15 p.m. Shannon voters cast their ballots at the fire station downtown, while Saltillo residents did so at the community center in the city park.
All eight voters interviewed by the Daily Journal at those two locations spoke in favor of the bond issue, which would allow the school district to borrow $13.5 million to fund various construction and renovation projects. To pass, it must receive a 60-percent majority.
“I think it will be good for the schools,” said Beatrice Partlow, 81, of Shannon.
If the bond issue passes, it will not raise taxes because it will replace a 1993 bond issue that rolls off the district’s books next month. If it fails, taxes will decrease by about $40 on a house valued at $100,000.
Loftin said the election had gone smoothly thus far. There was an issue with a machine not reading ballots in Richmond, but it was quickly corrected. There have also been some issues with Lee County School District residents not being on the proper voter list. In that case, Loftin said residents should cast affidavit ballots.
Only 17 absentee ballots were cast. At the Belden precinct, 26 people had voted as of 1:40 p.m.
“I don’t think we will run out of ballots,” Loftin said.