Voter Turnout Could Decide Suburban School Vote
(Millington, TN) Tuesday is Election Day and voters will have their say for the second time after a federal judge overturned the last election where every suburb overwhelmingly approved municipal schools.
Signs in support of municipal districts are spread all around Shelby County in anticipation of Tuesday’s election.
This is deja vu for voters in the suburbs who overwhelmingly approved their own schools last year, only to be overturned by a judge because they were deemed unconstitutional at the time.
The closest school election was in Millington, where voters barely approved a sales tax increase to pay for the schools. But this time, their signs say ‘We can afford it.’
That still has some voters like Lucy June Ganyaw a little nervous.
“They just don’t care anymore. I mean they’ve heard so much they’re tired of it,” said Ganyaw.
Ganyaw says she’s noticed that her friends and family in Millington are burned out of all the school talk after a year of going back and forth in the courts.
She says people may not be as fired up to head to the polls.
“I think they’re really getting burned out because it seems like the head people can’t make up their mind,” said Ganyaw.
Ganyaw says people are also worried their vote may be overturned again, and she may be on to something.
Early voting is over and turnout was way down from the last school election, but the Shelby County Election Commission says it’s pretty on par with other special elections like this one with only one issue on the ballot, because they don’t draw as many voters.
Icsom Barbee voted early, and he hopes people who didn’t head to the polls tomorrow.
“I don’t think the city schools and the county schools need to be merging anyway. That’s just my opinion,” said Barbee.
Millington City Manager Thomas Christie says they are ready for their own school district if voters approve it, but a lot is riding on tomorrow.
“Voter turnout always plays a role in every election. Having a special election means you will generally have a low voter turnout,” said Christie.
Christie says if approved Millington`s school district will cost $18 million a year to operate. That funding is completely covered because of last year’s half cent sales tax increase.