Election Commission Looking into Millington Votes
(Millington, TN) Voters in Millington want their own school district, but apparently don’t want to raise the sales tax there to pay for it.
The referendum to do so failed by three votes Thursday.
Some people believe many votes were incorrectly cast and that impacted the outcome.
There is still no answer about what to do about the votes, but Millington is moving forward to find ways to fund municipal schools.
The Shelby County Election Commission is going into the ballot records in Millington to see exactly how many people got the wrong ballots.
This may take a few days, and they will have to find out what to do with those incorrect ballots from attorneys.
The Shelby County Election Commission believes some votes were improperly cast in Millington.
With just three votes deciding the funding referendum every vote counts.
Interim Mayor Linda Carter says the annexation of Lucy was put on hold because of a lawsuit the day early voting started and that caused the mix up. “We knew there were Lucy residents who had obtained Millington ballots because they were not pulled by the election commission.”
The election commission doesn’t know how many Millington ballots were cast in Lucy, or if they will throw the illegal ballots out or have to wait for someone to file a lawsuit.
“We have reason to believe there are possibly enough votes down there that should be discarded because they were not actually Millington residents that would potentially change that vote,” said Carter.
Millington is expecting an answer on what to do next by the election commission early next week.
In the meantime, city leaders are trying to see if it’s legal for them to put the tax increase for schools on November’s ballot.
“I think people who were the biggest proponents of schools did not do a very good job of educating the public which was their task as to educating the public about the importance of funding,” said Carter.
One Millington resident thinks the referendum did in fact fail, but for a different reason, “I can understand. This is a retirement town really. A lot of retirees living on a fixed income.”
Other voters say the ballots that were cast by people who don’t live in Millington should be tossed out.
“Just because the people cast the ballots, it’s not their fault if they got the wrong ballot. It’s the election commissions fault that they got the wrong ballot. Because they never should have got the wrong ballot to begin with,” said John Held.
Carter says by law, if Millington is going to have its own schools, it must contribute about a quarter of a million dollars in funding.
If the sales tax doesn’t pass, she says alderman may be force to nearly double property taxes next year.