By: Jenn Schanz
Ballots for the Lincoln Public Schools $153 million bond issue are due today (Tuesday) by 5 p.m. at the Lancaster County Election Commissioner's office.
The Lancaster County Election Commissioner's office has it's work cut out for them.
More than 163,000 ballots have been sent out to residents of the Lincoln Public School District for a special election on the latest bond issue.
The $153 million project is asking residents to support district expansion, like a new elementary school, a new middle school, and a new high school career center.
"It's hard for somebody to sit down at their kitchen table and mark a little circle that say I'm supporting a tax," says Ed Zimmer of the Lincoln Public School Board.
If the issue passes, the $153 million would be funded in large part through the school's current levy, which taxes property owners by 4.2 cents per every $100 of property value, so a homeowner in a $100,000 house would pay $42 per year.
If the bond issue fails, homeowners might be taxed less.
"Obviously if this does not pass, that amount, the levy, could go down by that amount. And so we're not pretending it's free, but it's needed," says Zimmer.
Unlike previous years, this year's bond issue is being voted on via mail.
The Lancaster County Election Commissioner David Shively says winter weather makes the mail–in approach more efficient.
"If we would have had the election last Tuesday when it snowed so terribly in the afternoon and then overnight into Wednesday, our turnout would have been terrible," he says.
But not this year; already, turnout is at 33 percent, that's 9 percent higher than the previous bond issue's turnout.
And election officials only expect that number to go up.
Ballots are due no later than Tuesday, February 11th and 5 p.m. With less than 24-hours to go, Lancaster County Election Commissioner David Shively suggests driving the ballot over to the Election Commission office located at 601. N. 46th Street.
There's a drop box right in front you can use, or you can walk the ballot into the office.