130402_election_jas

Pat Byrne sets up a ballot counter Monday afternoon at the Bartlett Center. With only one issue on the Buchanan County ballot, voter turnout is expected to be low.

With one issue on the majority of Buchanan County ballots, turnout is expected to be low in today’s election. Polling hours are 6 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Mary Baack-Garvey, Buchanan County clerk, said April elections generally see less action at the polls than others. She said 5,000 of the approximately 52,000 registered voters likely would make it out to their polling places today. The ballot issues in more rural areas of the county aren’t heavily contested or are fairly uncontroversial, which also should keep turnout fairly light, she said.

The issue that Buchanan County voters will see regards a local use tax on out-of-state purchases at the same rate as the local sales tax, currently 1.1 percent. The sales tax will partially increase funding for law enforcement purposes for no more than 10 years. This also would eliminate the current sales tax advantage that out-ofstate merchants have over local merchants, the ballot language reads. If it passes, Buchanan County residents will not see their real and personal property raised in that 10-year period.

Ms. Baack-Garvey said her office has fielded calls from residents wanting to know what the use tax is about, but she hasn’t heard much positive or negative regarding the issue.

“It seems like it’s going to be a nice, slow and quiet day,” she said.

Historically, the county resident have voted down use tax issues. The previous attempt in November’s general election saw the same issue fail with nearly 60 percent of voters going against the tax. Around 35,000 votes were cast in Buchanan County in that election. The primary election in August saw nearly 12,000 votes cast.

Jimmy Myers can be reached at jimmy.myers@newspressnow.com. Follow him on Twitter: @SJNPMyers.