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Ballot Issues Bring Out Voters

November 6, 2012, 5:53 PM by Peggy Moyer

Ballot Issues Bring Out Voters

One of the reasons the state may be seeing good voter turnout numbers is the number of issues on the ballot.

Secretary of State Jason Gant believes the presidential election, the state's lone U.S. House seat being up for grabs and the high number of state and local issues on our ballot are all bringing people out.

Measures 14, 15 and 16 are the ones most voters are talking about.

Measure 14 creates the "Large Project Development Fund."  If it passes, 22 percent of contractors excise tax revenues would be set aside to help attract large economic development projects to the state.

"I think it's a good idea. See, I'm a business owner and you need to set money aside to do specific things and if there's a big project coming in and you need a little bit of help and money is available, it's more than likely going to happen," Sioux Falls business owner Steve Rausch said.

Measure 15 would increase the state's sales tax by a penny for every dollar you spend, with proceeds going to K through 12 education and Medicaid.

"Even though the Medicaid needs the revenue, I voted no on that because the poorer people cannot afford it. They can't even afford to buy groceries now, so that will have a real impact on them and I was considering them," Sioux Falls resident Bonnie Blakemore said.

And Measure 16 includes several pieces of education reform including scholarships for college students planning to teach in critical-need subjects.  It also creates a bonus program for math and science teachers and develops a separate bonus program for the top teachers. 

"I don't think it should be mandated that every school should look the same and every teacher should teach the same because we have students that are more tech-type learners; they're more visual. Everyone learns differently and so I think that should be left to each individual teacher for her individual classroom," Sioux Falls resident Carla Schwartz said.

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