Majority of voters support PRC bond

Published 9:44 pm Tuesday, May 8, 2018

Most of the registered voters who turned out to cast their ballot Tuesday chose to support the bond issue proposed by the Pearl River County School District.

According to unofficial results from the Pearl River County Circuit Clerk’s office, more than 62 percent of the more than 1,600 voters chose to vote for the bond.

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Unofficial numbers show 1,003 voters voted for the bond, while 599 voters chose not to support the bond.

The statistics state that turnout was about 14.82 percent. There are 10,808 registered voters in that District.

While the unofficial outcome appears to show that the bond has passed, Pearl River County School District Superintendent said there are still 75 affidavit votes that need to be certified and counted. If those votes were against the bond, it could mean the bond would not receive the necessary percentage to pass. Circuit Clerk Nance Stokes said bond referendums have to receive 60 percent of the vote to pass.

“I’m thankful today for a community who voted to be part of a solution.  The voters made a powerful statement on Tuesday.  They committed to providing new facilities and to renovate older, failing facilities for our students and the future students of the Pearl River County School District.  They truly stepped up to the plate for the future of our school district and community.  I am humbled and honored to be a part of this great community,” Lumpkin said via a written statement.

Stokes said the official outcome of the election may not be known until next week.

That’s because one of the 75 voters that cast an affidavit ballot was unable to provide proper identification.

She said that voter has 5 business days to provide proper identification to the Circuit Clerk’s office before all 75 ballots will be counted at the same time. If identification is presented before the five days is up, the ballots will be counted at that time.

Otherwise the election commissioners will wait until after Tuesday at 5 p.m. to provide an official count and the election can be certified.

Stokes said there is also the possibility that one or more affidavit ballots won’t be counted due to discrepancies with the voter’s address or some other aspect that would disqualify that person from voting in the election.

The election was held to determine the public’s opinion on the Pearl River County School District taking out an $18.5 million bond to conduct renovations and additions to campuses within the District.

The total project is estimated to be $18.9 million, the difference of which will come from the District’s fund balance.

A bond referendum election held last year requesting $17 million failed.