Vote on Tax Is April 8

Not all city of Washington residents will vote on the proposed tax increase for the Scenic Regional Library system April 8.

Only those city residents in areas that were annexed after Oct. 13, 1965, will vote with other county residents on the proposal to increase the library tax by 10 cents.

Those who were in the city prior to that date will not vote on the library tax because they fall into the municipal library district.

Franklin County Clerk Debbie Door said she is very confident that voters will get the correct ballot based on where they live in the city. City voters outside of the Scenic Regional Library boundaries should not see the library tax increase question on their ballot, Door noted.

About 60 percent of the city of Washington’s residents fall into the city library district while the other 40 percent, or about 5,000 people, are within the Scenic Regional Library system, said Steve Campbell.

He is the director of the Scenic Regional Library.

Campbell noted that there is a similar situation in the city of Sullivan.

Most Sullivan residents fall into that city’s library district, but there are some who are in the Scenic Regional Library system. But there are not as many Sullivan residents in the Scenic Regional system compared to Washington. Washington’s city boundaries have grown more since 1965, Campbell explained.

The Sullivan city library district is also seeking a tax increase of 8 cents per $100 of assessed valuation. Sullivan city residents who are in the Scenic Regional district will not vote on the city library district tax increase.

Officials say the Scenic Regional Library tax increase is needed to update technology options and provide more services.

Door said her office will soon send out voter reminder cards to citizens prior to the April 8 election.

Those cards will contain information to make sure voters receive the correct ballot. The voters can bring the cards to the polling place, which can help the election workers determine which ballot they should receive.

If the voters forget to bring the cards to the polling place, the election judges can still look up the voters’ names in the computer system to find out which ballot they should receive, Door added.

She explained that the voters sign an iPad when they show up to vote. The iPad lets the election workers know which ballot style the voters should get.

She added that the voter information is also in the statewide database.

Moreover, Door said it will not take a lot of time to determine which ballot voters should get.

It is common in the April election to have varying ballots because of “splits” in districts that can occur in different areas of the county, Door noted.

For instance, some voters may fall into a certain road district, hospital district, college district, water district or sewer district.

In fact, Door said in the April election there will be 55 different ballot styles because of all of the different district splits.

It is very important that voters get the correct ballot based on the districts they may fall into, Door noted. That’s why her office tries to compile an updated list of voters’ addresses before the new voter reminder cards are mailed out.