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Ballot Language Confusing To Some

KSMU archive
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http://ozarkspub.vo.llnwd.net/o37/KSMU/audio/mp3/ballot-language-confusing-some_81559.mp3

Here at Roundtree Elementary School in central Springfield, voters are slowly but surely making their way to the polls. Most of those I spoke with today knew how they were going to vote before walking in the door.

Greene County Clerk, Richard Struckhoff previously stated he expected between seven to 12 percent of registered voters to turn out for this decision. One of those voters was Dwaine Criger.

"Today I voted no which actually means yes we need to support this tax, so that's how I voted today." said Criger.

He explains it this way because, of those I spoke with, they were confused about the wording on the ballot. David Sommerfeld knew exactly how he wanted to vote after speaking to some local fire fighters, but he had this reaction upon casting his vote.  

"I had no idea what the wording was except for the very bottom where it says "a yes vote ends the tax a no vote continues the tax" the rest of it I didn't understand," Sommerfeld said.

The first part of the ballot reads “Shall the City of Springfield repeal the pension sales tax imposed at the rate of three-quarters of one percent?”

Many had the same response to Sommerfeld, saying that voting yes to end a sales tax and no to continue the tax seemed odd. However, voters like Evelyn Warren were ready to make their decision thanks to literature around town.

"When you were reading through the ballot was it confusing at all?"

"Well we have been getting stuff in the mail for three or four months about it so we understood what was going on," said Warren.

City Manager Greg Burris said last week that local officials had conducted more than 45 community meetings over the past three months trying to educate people about the ballot language.

Voting ends at 7 p.m. If you’re in line at your polling precinct that time, you’re still eligible to vote. Visit in to ksmu.org Tuesday evening and listen Wednesday morning for local election results.

For KSMU news, I'm Shannon Bowers.