Low Turnout Expected in Bond Elections

Published 05/09 2014 06:26PM

Updated 05/09 2014 09:55PM

AMARILLO -- Nearly $100 million in bonds will be decided across the panhandle Saturday.

   Four area school districts and a hospital district are asking voters to approve funds for various projects.

   We're not alone here in the panhandle when it comes to voting on more debt.
   According to the state comptroller, Texans, overall, will decide on $6.7 billion in bonds.
   Bond elections are sometimes hard for voters to understand.  That's part of the reason there's such low voter turnout in these kinds of elections.

   Texas is already ranked last in the country when it comes to voter turnout and municipal elections are among the lowest among all types.

   That means very few people will be making big money decisions Saturday.

   Here's where the bonds are:

       Moore County Hospital District  -- $49 million for a new hospital and assisted living center.

        Miami ISD -- $32 million for a new school and athletic facilities.

        Sanford-Fritch ISD -- $8 million for construction, equipment and buses.

        Hartley ISD -- $6.2 million bond for new classrooms, a library and security upgrades.

        Texline ISD -- $4 million for a new elementary campus and all purpose facility.

    The Texas Comptroller has developed the tellthetruth website to help better inform the voters.

   It details the current debt of the entity seeking additional money and helps voters with an instructional video explaining the process of a bond election from the time it's proposed until it's paid off.

   The most recent example we have of low voter turnout for a bond election was last November right here in Amarillo.

   Only 16% of registered voters in Amarillo cast ballots in voting down the $31.5 million Amarillo Recreation Complex (ARC).

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