(ST. JOSEPH, Mo.) Thousands of voters flocked to the polls for Tuesday's election on the school tax levy Proposition 1.
The Buchanan County Clerk's Office predicted the amount of voter turnout to be at 40 percent. However, the total number came in at slightly less than 38 percent.
“This seems to be a really hot topic among the city. You know, a lot of people are for it, a lot of people are against it," Mary Baack-Garvey, Buchanan County Clerk, said. "So both groups are doing the best they can to get their voters out to the polls to make sure it either passes or it doesn’t.”
Baack-Garvey said while the actual number is lower than what she predicted, this type of turnout for a non presidential election, one issue ballot is extremely rare.
“That’s great. It means the voters are involved and they care about what’s on the issue today. So, it’s great. No surprise to me," Baack-Garvey said.
One voter said he has made an effort to vote in every election for the past 80 years.
“Well, I think it’s everybody’s right and privilege to vote, and they should do it," Vernon Phleiderer, voter, said. "Participate in the community any way you can.”
Phleiderer said he believes the reason for the large turnout was mainly due to the controversy surrounding the school tax levy proposal.
“This has been discussed and hatched around for quite a while, and I think that people have strong feelings one way or the other," Phleiderer said.
One volunteer echos that opinion. Nancy Daniel, volunteer with the East Side Lions Club, was stationed at the Frederick Boulevard Baptist Church and said they had almost 700 voters by noon.
“We were told to expect about 40 percent, so we have been busy and very steady here," Daniel said.
There are 45, 743 registered voters in Buchanan County, and 17, 216 of those voted in the election.