E-911 sales tax passes by wide margin

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

On Tuesday, Barry Countians overwhelmingly approved a one-eighth of a cent emergency services sales tax by an almost two-to-one margin. Over 27 percent of county voters turned out for the election, which also served as the presidential primary.

The sales tax, which was placed back on the ballot by the Barry County E-911 Emergency Services Board after it failed in November of 2011, was approved by 64.69 percent of voters. The issue received 3,272 "yes" votes and 1,786 "no" votes.

The emergency services sales tax won the majority of the vote in all jurisdictions except Ash, Capps Creek, Kings Prairie and Monett. Over 66 percent of Monett voters opposed the issue.

The sales tax is projected to produce $425,000 to $450,000 a year, which will give the emergency services board an annual budget of around $1.3 million to operate the Barry County E-911 Center.

In all, a total of 5,080 county voters participated in Tuesday's election. Of these, 3,930 voted Republican and 848 voted Democrat. Rick Santorum and President Barack Obama were the big winners locally.

Santorum received 52.06 percent of the Republican vote while Mitt Romney picked up 22.26 percent of the vote.

Other Republican candidates who received votes were: Ron Paul, 499; Herman Cain, 55; Rick Perry, 54; Michele Bachmann, 34; Jon Huntsman, 11; Gary Johnson, nine; and Michael J. Meehan and Keith Drummond, four each. A total of 339 Republican ballots were marked "uncommitted."

On the Democrat ticket, President Obama garnered 78.42 percent of the local vote. Randall Terry was a very distant second, winning only 2.95 percent of the votes.

John Wolfe had 12 votes while Darcy G. Richardson had seven votes. There were 139 Democrat voters who marked "uncommitted" on their ballot.

Nineteen county voters chose a Libertarian ballot. Of those votes, 18 were uncommitted and one voted for James Orland Ogle.

Voter turnout among the county's 18 precincts ranged from a low of 14.48 percent in Monett to a high of 47.09 percent in Shell Knob.

There were 199 absentee votes case in the primary. In the presidential primary, absentee voters supported Romney (35.71 percent) and Obama (78.42 percent).

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