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The Shawnee News-Star
  • Election Tuesday: Runoffs, Bethel tax issue, Asher school bond and Tecumseh races set

  • Tuesday’s runoff elections includes races on both the Democratic and Republican tickets, but voters in Bethel Acres also will decide a sale tax proposal while those in Asher will vote on a school bond issue. Tecumseh voters will elect municipal officers, including a mayor.
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  • Tuesday’s runoff elections includes races on both the Democratic and Republican tickets, but voters in Bethel Acres also will decide a sale tax proposal while those in Asher will vote on a school bond issue. Tecumseh voters will elect municipal officers, including a mayor.
    Polls will be open 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Tuesday.
     
    Runoffs
    For the state superintendent runoff, Democrats will choose between John Cox and Freda Deskin, with the winner advancing to the November general election.
    For the U.S. Senator unexpired term, Democrats will decide a runoff between Connie Johnson and Jim Rogers.
    For the U.S. Representative, District 5 race, Democrats will decide a runoff between Tom Guild and Al McAffrey while Republicans decide a runoff between Steve Russell and Patrice Douglas. Winners from those two runoffs will face off at the general election in November.
    Tecumseh municipal races
    In Tecumseh, voters there will election a mayor and a Ward 4 city councilor.
    Incumbent Mayor Eddy Parker is being challenged by HuBert Poole.
    For the Ward 4 seat, current council John Collier is being challenged by Patrick S. Lemmings.
    Bethel Acres tax election
    The town of Bethel Acres, which currently has no municipal sales tax, will ask voters to approve a new 2.5 percent town sales tax.
    There’s a handful of businesses in Bethel, including a couple of convenience stores that currently collect 5.5 percent sales tax for every dollar. Of that, 4.5 cents goes to the state and Pottawatomie County gets one penny.
    If voters pass the town’s 2.5 cent proposal, the Bethel Acres sales tax rate would go to 8 percent.
    Bethel Acres Mayor Neal Davis said a town sales tax should generate a few thousand dollars for the general fund each quarter, with those funds being available to help the town with capital improvements and provide more equipment for the all-volunteer fire department.
    Asher School Bond issue
    Voters in the Asher School District are being asked to approve a $1.74 million school bond issue for building two additions to the school’s gymnasium, including a tornado safe room that can hold more than 300 people.
    Asher Superintendent Terry Grissom said if they are approved, the bonds would replace those being paid off, so there will be no increases in property taxes.
    There will be two propositions for voters — one for the building improvements and the other to purchase two new school buses.
    Page 2 of 2 - With Proposition No. 1, plans are to build a new lobby area on the north side of the gymnasium, which will include new restrooms, a new concession stand and a new visitor’s dressing room area.
    The project also includes tearing down the existing dressing rooms in the back of the gym so they can build a new, larger boys and girls dressing rooms, he said, with those areas doubling as a safe room.
    The lobby addition is expected to be about 4,380 square-feet, he said, while the new boys and girls dressing rooms that also will be built to be tornado shelters, will be about 1,643 square feet.
    In the event of tornadic weather, “We can handle all the students and staff in that area,” Grissom said, adding there’s about 275 students in the district.
    Grissom said when school is not is session and there is tornadic weather, they plan to open the safe room up to the community. The safe room, by square footage, can easily accommodate 329 people, he said.
    As part of the extensive project, they also plan to renovate the existing gym with new lighting, he said, and remove the lowered ceiling to return the building to its original structure and shape.
    The second proposition calls for $150,000 in bonds to purchase two new school buses.
    Pottawatomie County Election Board Secretary Diana Knight reminds voters to take their voter identification cards with them to the polls.
    “Your voter ID card (issued by the County Election Board) can help precinct officials find your name in the Precinct Registry, and it may help them resolve the problem if you are not listed in the Registry for some reason,” Knight
    explained. Alternatively, voters can bring an unexpired photo ID card issued by the U.S. government, the state of Oklahoma, or a federally recognized tribal government.
    Voters without ID, or whose names are not found in the Precinct Registry, or voters who disagree with the information shown in the Registry, may always cast a
    provisional ballot. A provisional ballot is sealed in a special envelope and counted after Election Day if the voter’s information can be verified by the County Election Board.
    Knight said that voters who want to get through the line quickly should vote at mid-morning or mid-afternoon, because those usually are the two slowest periods.
    “Anyone who is eligible and in line at the polling place at 7 p.m. on Tuesday will be entitled to vote,” she added.
     

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