[Nameplate] Partly Cloudy ~ 71°F  
High: 75°F ~ Low: 49°F
Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Are you ready to vote?

Thursday, October 30, 2008

(Photo)
Tyler Smith (McCain) and Colby Young (Obama) show off their presidential costumes at the Mammoth Spring Spooktacular held Oct. 25. Photo by Janie Flynn
OREGON COUNTY -- Absentee voting in Oregon County has been heavy and Oregon County Clerk Gary Hensley is expecting a large voter turnout for the Nov. 4 General Election.

He said polls will open that morning at 6 a.m. and close at 7 p.m. "Our office will be open the Saturday before the election, Nov. 1, from 8 a.m. to noon to accommodate voters that can't make it to the polls during the week," Hensley said.

Two local races and a sales tax levy will be of special interest to Oregon County voters.

Northern District Commissioner Buddy Wright is retiring after 18 years in that position. Republican Edward Casey and Democrat Brad Vest will be seeking that position on the ballot.

Southern District Commissioner John Wrenfrow will have a write-in opponent, Max Huffman. Hensley said there will be a place provided for the write-in candidate. His name will have to be spelled correctly and the oval next to his name will have to be darkened in order for the vote to count.

There will also be an ambulance issue on the ballot. The Oregon County Ambulance District is proposing a sales tax levy of one-half of one percent.

Hensley advised Oregon County residents to come by his office and pick up a sample ballot or get The South Missourian News to look at the issues and proposals they will be voting on.

He said besides the officials on the ballot there are several proposals that people need to understand before they get into the voting booth. They include:

Constitutional Amendment 1 -- popular name: Shall the Missouri Constitution be amended to add a statement that English shall be the language of all governmental meetings at which any public business is discussed, decided, or public policy is formulated whether conducted in person or by communication equipment including conference calls, video conference, Internet chat or message board?

A "yes" vote will amend the Missouri Constitution to add a statement that English shall be the language of all governmental meetings at which any public business is discussed, decided, or public policy is formulated. This includes meetings conducted in person or by other means of communication including conference calls, video conference, Internet chat or Internet message board.

A "no" vote will not amend the Missouri Constitution to add a statement that English shall be the language of all governmental meetings at which any public business is discussed, decided, or public policy is formulated.

This proposition will have no impact on taxes.

Constitutional Amendment 4 -- popular name: Shall the Missouri Constitution be amended to change provisions relating to the financing of stormwater control projects by: *limiting availability of grants and loans to public water and sewer districts only;

* removing the cap on available funding and existing restrictions on disbursements;

* requiring loan repayments to be used only for stormwater control projects?

It is estimated the cost to state governmental entities is $0 to $236,000 annually. It is estimated state governmental entities will save approximately $7,500 for each bond issuance. It is estimated local governmental entities participating in this program may experience savings, however the amount is unknown.

A "yes" vote will amend the Missouri Constitution to change the provisions relating to the financing of stormwater control projects. Currently, the Missouri Constitution allows the legislature to issue bonds or other types of debt so that grants and loans may be provided to municipalities and water and sewer districts in certain counties and cities for stormwater control.

This amendment will limit funding to only public water and sewer districts. It removes the current limitation on the amount of funds that can be made available for these projects and removes the restrictions on the method of disbursing these funds. It further provides that loan repayment funds shall be deposited into a specific fund to be used for stormwater control projects.

A "no" vote will not change the provisions relating to the financing of stormwater control projects.

If passed, this measure will not have an impact on taxes.

Proposition A -- popular name: Shall Missouri law be amended to:

* repeal the current individual maximum loss limit for gambling;

* prohibit any future loss limits;

* require identification to enter the gambling area only if necessary to establish that an individual is at least 21 years old;

* restrict the number of casinos to those already built or being built;

* increase the casino gambling tax from 20% to 21%;

* create a new specific education fund from gambling tax proceeds generated as a result of this measure called the "Schools First Elementary and Secondary Education Improvement Fund"; and

* require annual audits of this new fund?

State governmental entities will receive an estimated $105.1 to $130.0 million annually for elementary and secondary education, and $5.0 to $7.0 million annually for higher education, early childhood development, veterans, and other programs. Local governmental entities receiving gambling boat tax and fee revenues will receive an estimated $18.1 to $19.0 million annually.

A "yes" vote will amend Missouri law to:

* repeal the current individual maximum loss limit for gambling;

* prohibit any future loss limits;

* require identification to enter the gambling area only if necessary to establish that an individual is at least 21 years old;

* restrict the number of casinos to those already built or being built;

* increase the casino gambling tax from 20% to 21%;

* create a new specific education fund from gambling tax proceeds generated as a result of this measure called the "Schools First Elementary and Secondary Education Improvement Fund"; and

* require annual audits of this new fund.

A "no" vote will maintain the current individual maximum loss limit of $500 for each gambling excursion. The casino gambling tax will not be increased nor will the "Schools First Elementary and Secondary Education Improvement Fund" be created. Also, the number of new casinos that may be built in Missouri will not be restricted.

If passed, this measure will increase the casino gambling tax.

Proposition B -- popular name: Shall Missouri law be amended to enable the elderly and Missourians with disabilities to continue living independently in their homes by creating the Missouri Quality Homecare Council to ensure the availability of quality home care services under the Medicaid program by recruiting, training, and stabilizing the home care workforce?

The exact cost of this proposal to state governmental entities is unknown, but is estimated to exceed $510,560 annually. Additional costs for training are possible. Matching federal funds, if available, could reduce state costs. It is estimated there would be no costs or savings to local governmental entities.

A "yes" vote will amend Missouri law to enable the elderly and Missourians with disabilities to continue living independently in their homes by creating the Missouri Quality Homecare Council. If formed, this council will ensure the availability of quality home care services under the Medicaid program by recruiting, training, and stabilizing the home care workforce.

A "no" vote means the Missouri Quality Homecare Council will not be created.

This measure will have no impact on taxes.

Proposition C -- Shall Missouri law be amended to require investor-owned electric utilities to generate or purchase electricity from renewable energy sources such as solar, wind, biomass and hydropower with the renewable energy sources equaling at least 2% of retail sales by 2011 increasing incrementally to at least 15% by 2021, including at least 2% from solar energy; and restricting to no more than 1% any rate increase to consumers for this renewable energy?

The estimated direct cost to state governmental entities is $395,183. It is estimated there are no direct costs or savings to local governmental entities. However, indirect costs may be incurred by state and local governmental entities if the proposal results in increased electricity retail rates.

A "yes" vote will amend Missouri law to require investor-owned electric utilities to generate or purchase electricity from renewable energy sources such as solar, wind, biomass (including ethanol) and hydropower. The required renewable energy sources must equal the following percentages of retail sales:

2 percent by 2011; 5 percent by 2014; 10 percent by 2018; 15 percent by 2021.

Of the total renewable energy sources required to be sold, at least 2 percent shall be solar sources. Also, any rate increase to consumers resulting from this measure must be no more than 1 percent.

A "no" vote will not require Missouri's investor-owned electric utilities to generate or purchase electricity from renewable energy sources.

This measure will not have an impact on taxes.

"This year's voting could be time consuming. If voters have an idea how they are going to vote on some of these proposals it could save us and them some time come election day," Hensley said.

Polling places in the county are:

* Big Apple, Koshkonong City Hall.

* Cedar Bluff/Myrtle, Myrtle Senior Citizen Center.

* Couch/Jeff, Pleasant Hill Church.

* Highland, Shilo Baptist Church.

* Jobe Billmore, Cotton Creek Church.

* Johnson Ozark, BB Community Building.

* King/Woodside, Courthouse basement.

* Moore Blackpond, Thomasville Community Center.

* Piney1, Piney 1 South, Alton Assembly of god.

* Piney 2, Piney 2, North, Alton VFW building.

* Thayer 1, Thayer 1-1, Thayer Church of Christ.

* Thayer 2, Thayer 2-2, Thayer Church of Christ.

From the editor: Ballot issue information was obtained from Sec. of State Robin Carnahan, www.sos.mo.gov/elections/2008ballot.



Respond to this story

Posting a comment requires free registration: