AP NEWS

28 percent of registered voters cast ballots in Florence One referendum

February 27, 2019

FLORENCE, S.C. – The voter turnout was 28.01 percent Tuesday for the Florence One Schools referendum.

Of 63,140 registered voters, 17,686 cast ballots.

The $198 million bond proposal failed. With all 44 precincts reporting, those who voted “no” accounted for 74.83 percent of the votes.

Early Tuesday afternoon, Florence County Election Commission Executive Director David Alford estimated that turnout was “high medium.”

Alford added that just over 2,800 people had cast absentee ballots in the election.

Turnout was light, however, at the Boys & Girls Club and North Vista Elementary School, both in North Florence.

According to Marilyn Mong, who is an election clerk at the Florence Precinct 7 at Royall Elementary School, the precinct was at a 20.29 percent turnout as of late afternoon. She said she’d like to see the precinct have at least a 25 percent turnout.

If a majority of the voters had voted “yes” on the ballot, the school district would have been allowed to issue up to $198 million in general obligation bonds.

The funds raised were to be used to construct a new Southside Middle School, a new Williams Middle School, a new Savannah Grove Elementary School, a new elementary school that will consolidate Timrod and Wallace Gregg elementary schools, and security upgrades, additions, renovations and athletic upgrades at each of the three high schools in Florence One Schools. The three high schools are South Florence, West Florence, and Wilson.

Voter Ellen Pearson had children in the district, but they’re adults now. Pearson said it is important for all citizens to help out with bettering the education system.

“We need to do what we can to help our children get the very best education possible, and they need to have buildings that are safe, clean and with room for everyone to have their spot without being in portables, Pearson said.