Polls Open Today for Special Referendum Election

Daniel Prince

Precinct locations changed for East Buffalo, Monarch Box 1, and Ward 1 Box 1

Today is election day across the country and in Union County. While there are no national races going on, there are two countywide referendum questions on the ballot for voters to decide. Turnout is generally very light in off-year elections, so every vote matters. Polls will be open from 7 a.m. until 7 p.m. No results will be known until after the polls close. As WBCU News has reported several times since it was announced, voters in the East Buffalo precinct will vote at the National Guard Armory, at 165 Industrial Park Road. Voters in the Monarch Box 1 precinct will vote at Bethel United Methodist Church, at 1705 Lockhart Highway. Voters in Ward 1 Box 1 will vote at Lakeside Baptist Church, at 640 Lakeside Drive. The moves were needed because school remains in session today, and Buffalo, Monarch, and Foster Park Elementary Schools are the normal polling places.

As always, when you arrive to vote, you will need to show photo ID. You can use your SC driver’s license, SC DMV ID card, SC voter registration card with photo, federal military ID, or US passport.

Everyone’s ballot will have two questions. The first question deals with the change in Union County’s form of government. The question reads: “Shall Union County, South Carolina, adopt the council-administrator form of government, with a County Council comprised of six council members elected for four-year terms from single member districts and a Chairman of County Council elected for a four-year term from the county at large, or shall the county retain its existing form of government (the council-supervisor form of government with a county council of the County comprised of six County Council members elected for four-year terms from single member districts and a County Supervisor elected for a four-year term from the county at large)? If the change is approved, it would become effective at the end of Supervisor Frank Hart’s current four-year term, which expires in 2022. The two choices voters have read: “In Favor of Council-Administrator Form” or “In Favor of Council-Supervisor Form”.

The second question deals with the proposed Capital Projects Sales Tax. It reads: “Must a special 1% sales and use tax be imposed in Union County, South Carolina, for not more than 8 years from the date of imposition to raise the amounts specified for the following purposes (including the costs of designing, constructing, improving, renovating, equipping, furnishing thereof, and acquiring any land necessary therefor), and, further, must the county be authorized to issue and sell, either as a single issue or as several separate issues, general obligation bonds of the county in the aggregate principal amount of not exceeding $20 million to pay for costs of the projects set forth below and pledge such sales and use taxes to the payment of the principal of and interest on the bonds; provided, in the event such sales and use taxes are inadequate for the payment of the bonds, the full faith, credit, and taxing power of the county shall be pledged for the payment of the bonds? The question will then list each project and its associated cost. At the end, it will explain that all qualified electors desiring to vote in favor of imposing the sales and use tax for the stated purposes and authorizing the issuance and sale of the bonds as described shall vote YES, and all qualified electors desiring to vote against imposing the sales and use tax for the stated purposes and authorizing the issuance and sale of the bonds as described shall vote NO.

The projects are:
--Construction of a career and technology center on the Union County campus of Spartanburg Community College--$11,153,987.
--Upgrades and renovations to county and municipal recreational park facilities--$2,399,563.
--Improvements to the county’s animal shelter to include construction of a new facility or upgrades and renovations to the existing facility--$320,000.
--Upgrades and renovations to pool facilities currently owned by the City of Union and under the operation of the YMCA for community-wide use--$104,575.
--Upgrades and renovations to existing facilities located at the County Fairgrounds for recreational, cultural, or civic events--$505,575.
--Construction of a new multi-purpose arena at the County Fairgrounds for recreational, cultural, or civic events--$3,275,400.
--Upgrades and renovations to the auditorium and related facilities at the former Jonesville High School for recreational, cultural, or civic events--$1,000,000.
--Upgrades to the City of Union soccer field and construction of a new field house--$1,241,000.

WBCU will not have live on-air coverage of the results tonight, but we will post the results to our Facebook page and website. We will have a full report on the results in tomorrow morning’s news.

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