About 25 percent of registered voters – some 92,000 people – returned ballots so far in Tuesday’s all-mail special election concerning a proposed sales tax increase to help pay for bus services.
Pierce Transit is seeking approval of a three-tenths of 1 percent boost in the local sales tax.
Meanwhile, about 32 percent of Peninsula School District voters have returned ballots in the district’s quest for bond money; turnout for a proposal to merge the Lakewood and University Place fire districts into West Pierce Fire & Rescue was about 25 percent as of this morning, according to the Pierce County Auditor’s office.
The ballot counts are as of Friday afternoon; more figures will be available later today.
On the ballot:
• Pierce Transit Proposition 1: Would raise the local sales tax from .06 percent to .09 percent on a dollar. It’s a 50 percent increase, so the Pierce Transit portion of the sales tax would go from six cents on a $10 purchase to nine cents on a $10 purchase if approved. The agency says it must slash bus service by about 35 percent if it does not receive additional money to replace tax revenue lost to the recession and to defray increasing expenses.
• Peninsula School District: A $78 million capital bond proposal for modernization and upgrades at every elementary, middle and high school in the district and to buy land for a new elementary school. The issue requires a 60 percent supermajority for passage.
• Lakewood Fire District: Proposition 1 would merge Lakewood Fire District 2 with University Place Fire District 3 to form West Pierce Fire & Rescue. It requires a simple majority for passage.
Ballots must be dropped off at the Pierce County Elections office or one of many Express Booths or boxes around the county by 8 p.m. Tuesday. Or they may be postmarked by midnight Tuesday.
Preliminary election results will be available after 8 p.m. Tuesday.
You can find a list of ballot drop off locations here.
There also are three accessible voting locations for people who need help casting their ballots. That list is here.