Mercer County Schools

PRINCETON — Mercer County voters recently approved a new five-year excess levy for the Mercer County Schools system to replace the current five-year levy scheduled to expire next year.

A special election was conducted Nov. 2 across Mercer County so voters could determine whether to approve a new excess levy. Prior to election day, county voters could cast their ballots at one of four early voting polls. The current five-year excess levy is scheduled to end on June 30, 2020; the issue had to go before the county’s voters prior to the November 2020 General Election.

County Clerk Verlin Moye said that after 10 days of early voting, his office counted 2,536 votes.

Polls opened Nov. 2 at 6:30 a.m. After the polls closed at 7:30 p.m., each precinct counted its votes and brought them to the Mercer County Courthouse for the final count, Moye said.

Paper ballots were used instead of electronic voting machines because the special election had only one question about whether to approve or disapprove a new excess levy.

When all 47 precincts had reported their unofficial results, there were 3,161 votes for the excess levy and 1,648 against it.

Moye stated the election itself, in a procedural way, went well, but not that many people appeared at the polls Saturday.

“The turnout, I’m going to use the term mediocre,” he said.

The school system’s overall budget is about $130 million, and the almost $13 million the levy represents is 10 percent of it.

Services depending on excess levy funding include support personnel, coaches’ supplements, textbooks, extracurricular activities, maintenance and upkeep of schools and operational costs, Superintendent Dr. Deborah Akers said previously.

“We’re very thankful that we’ll have the funding for another five years,” Akers said after the vote was completed.

The votes will be canvassed Friday starting 9 a.m. in the Voters Registration Office at the Mercer County Courthouse, Moye said.

The Mercer County Board of Education sets the excess levy rate every five years. How the school system spends the levy money is outlined on the ballot, Moye said.

Contact Greg Jordan at gjordan@bdtonline.com

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