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Current Early Voting Totals – 3,129 ballots cast / 10.3% voter turnout
The last day of early voting is here with election day looming tomorrow to determine the fate of Mountain Home’s high school.
Polls will be open from 8:30 am to 4:30 p.m. at the Baxter County Courthouse. The Promise Land voting center is now open for Marion County voters as well.
Last Tuesday, pre-election campaign finance reports for opposed candidates raising or spending more than $500 were due.
The Clerk’s office received reports from school board candidates Stewart Rogers and Scott Booth.
Booth has stated publicly on air during a KTLO panel that he was not accepting any contributions for his campaign. This is reflected in his filing, having raised $0 and spent his own money to buy yard signs, banners, coffee for meetings, and rack cards to the tune of $1,951.11.
Rogers on the other hand raised $1,000 from four separate individuals or married couples and threw in $158 of his own money into his campaign. He purchased yard signs, magnetic signs, and business cards totaling $1,153.10.
Scott Bryant did not file a campaign contribution and expenditure report. Typically, this means a candidate did not raise or spend over $500.
Baxter County Clerk Canda Reese has spoken to the Observer in the past indicating that many candidates, after receiving their packets of information and filing deadlines, will not look at it again during the course of their campaigns and forget to file.
School board candidates in Norfork, Stacey Ferretti and Jon Casey, did not file any pre-election campaign finance reports either.
Final campaign reports are due June 30 for all school candidates and are required to file, regardless of contribution or expenditure amounts.
Campaign finance on the millage question
On the campaign trail for or against the millage, Mountain Home has seen two key players: the LQC or Legislative Question Committee, the Citizens for MHSD Accountability who are in opposition to the millage increase, and the BQC, or the Ballot Question Committee, A+ For Education who are in favor of the millage increase passing.
Both LQC and BQC’s are very similar in legal language, however BQC’s may operate even if the measure hasn’t made it on the ballot yet.
The Citizens for MHSD Accountability filed their financial report for April, raising an additional $765 cash for the month, across four named contributors and several smaller anonymous ones.
Monetary contributions under $50 are not required to list identifying details such as name, address, or occupation.
The committee received a lot of support in in-kind contributions with several individuals taking out display advertisements and buying additional materials with their own wallets. For the month of April, the ‘no’ side reported $2,278.32 worth of in-kind contributions.
In total, the committee has raised $1,965 in monetary contributions since its inception on April 5 of this year when the Arkansas Ethics Commission received its filing paperwork.
A+ For Education was organized originally on May 26, 2022, for round one of the Mountain Home millage issue.
Their first financial report covering May of last year saw the committee raising a strong $3,528 to start. Last June, they added an extra $750 before spending a couple thousand dollars on signs for the lead up to last August’s millage increase attempt.
A+ For Education rolled into this year’s millage election with a balance of $1,927.39 left in their coffers, while adding an additional $1,000 in March of this year.
The committee has not posted a report covering the month of April yet, so it is not known if they raised additional monetary contributions.
Election Day, May 9
Election day is Tuesday, May 9 between the hours of 7:30 a.m. and 7:30 p.m. Nine voting centers will be open to the public for Baxter County Voters. Voters may cast their ballots at any voting center:
Baxter County Courthouse
1 East 7th Street, Mountain Home, Arkansas
Election Commission Headquarters
213 E. 5th Street, Mountain Home, AR 72653
Eastside Baptist Church
718 East 9th Street, Mountain Home, AR 72653
Northeast Lakeside Fire Station
5482 Hwy 62 East, Mountain Home, AR 72653
Henderson Fire Station
12487 Hwy 62 East, Henderson, Arkansas 72544
Midway Safety Training Center
170 Dillard Drive, Midway, AR 72651
Lakeview City Hall
14 Skyles Lane, Lakeview, Arkansas 72642
Salesville City Hall
46 Gillespie Street, Salesville, AR 72653
Lone Rock Baptist Church
6726 Push Mountain Road, Norfork, AR 72658
If voters are living in Marion County’s portion of Mountain Home School District, they may cast their ballot at the Promise Land Community building or the Marion County Courthouse.
Once polls close at 7:30 p.m. on election day, paper ballots from Marion County will be transported to the Baxter County Courthouse since the school district is domiciled in Baxter County.
The Marion County Clerk’s office has reported only two ballots cast last week for early voting. This is expected to increase with the Promise Land community voting center now open today between 8:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m.
Last week the Baxter County Clerk’s office reported a total of 3,127 ballots cast by the end of day on Friday.