3-30 April vote midday tally 4/7
By MURRAY BISHOFF
Voter turnout for today's election was light around the Monett area except for Pierce City, where a school bond issue was drawing high numbers to the polls.
Monett voters have to choose two candidates from a field of four for the R-1 Board of Education and the Barry County Health Department Board. As of 11 a.m. today, 137 voters had cast ballots, the largest turnout for an April election since the mayoral election in 2004 drew 150 voters.
The split between the Monett polling places in Lawrence and Barry counties was also unusually even, with 69 at the Forest Park polling place at the First Presbyterian Church and 68 at the City Park Casino. Forest Park has run 4 to 8 percentage points ahead of the Barry County turnout for the past four years.
A heavy vote is developing in Pierce City, where a bond issue and a lease purchase proposal are on the ballot to fund construction of a new high school. By 11 a.m. 190 people had cast ballots.
The last time an early vote for an April election ran in similar numbers was the $1.7 million school bond issue in 2001, which drew 148 votes by the same hour. The 2006 mayoral race drew 119 votes by 11 a.m. Last year when seven people ran for three school board seats, only 65 people had cast ballots in the same time frame.
A modest turnout is developing in Purdy, where there are no school board races and only one contest for the city council. A total of 68 ballots were cast by 11 a.m. Only 38 votes had been cast a year ago by that hour, compared to 81 in the contested school board races in 2006 and 191 in 2007 when the school bond was on the ballot.
Very little interest has been shown at the Verona polling place, where only 18 ballots had been cast by 11 a.m. There are no school board or city council races to resolve in Verona this year.
In 2006 there were again 18 votes cast by 11 a.m. with no school races and a write-in contest for the city council to resolve. Last year, 35 had cast ballots by 11 a.m.
Polls are open until 7 p.m. today.