Claremore Daily Progress

August 11, 2013

Voters to decide 1-Cent Sales Tax on Tuesday

Salesha Wilken
Staff Reporter


Voters will consider the renewal of a 1-Cent Sales Tax Tuesday for the construction and maintenance of county roads and bridges.
Polls will be open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.  If approved, the tax will be renewed for five years and 1/8 cent of the tax collected will be dedicated to reduce the county's $32.5 million debt resulting from the Material Services Inc. lawsuit.
A mistake in the publication of the May 14 Special Election prompted the commissioners to call for the new election that costs taxpayers about $50,000 in additional election expenses. 
The commissioners retained outside legal counsel to assist with the second election increasing the overall cost of the election.
Rogers County Election Board Secretary Julie Dermody said the number of absentee ballots for Tuesday's election have decreased since the May 14 election.
Approximately 164 ballots were returned prior to the start of early voting Friday, according to Dermody.
The election board mailed about 500 absentee ballots out for both elections.
However, the May 14 election generated more than 200 absentee ballots in the first three weeks of the voting period alone, according to Dermody.
Concerned that absentee voters might not have mailed their ballots in, Dermody said it is important to know anyone that has not mailed in an absentee ballot may vote in person.
However, the absentee voter is required to sign an affidavit confirming they did not use the absentee ballot and anyone that votes more than once will be turned over for prosecution, according to Dermody.
“We wanted to make sure people exercise the right to vote and take part in the process,” Dermody said.
The election board staff have tried to make sure voters were informed about Tuesday's election, according to Dermody.
“We put out posters and fliers in banks, convenience stores and other businesses to make sure voters knew,” Dermody said.
Although Dermody is expecting a low turnout for the election, she is optimistic voters will decide to exercise their right to vote on Tuesday.