High Turnout In Early Voting For Mill Increase

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More than 1,800 people have voted early in the Bentonville School District on a proposed millage increase. Early voting began Tuesday (Sept. 12) and will end Monday (Sept. 16).

The Benton County Elections Administrator Dana Caler said the turnout for early voting has been high. She expects around 5,000 voters to take advantage of early voting.

"Normally, the annual school elections don`t generate the amount of people like a general election would, but our voting has been pretty consistent... like you would have for a primary election," she said.

The increase would go toward building a second high school in the district to relieve overcrowding at the Bentonville High School. The high school has 4,242 students enrolled this year.

The school district tried to pass an increase of 6.7 mills last year during school elections. That number has been reduced in this year’s proposal to 2.9 mills.

The total cost of the project is about $86 million dollars. $73 million would be paid by the millage and $13 million by the state, if approved by voters.

Some voters said that they choose to vote early because it's more convenient.

"I just had time this morning so, I was by the courthouse and stopped and voted," Mike Adams said. "I didn`t want to get tied up later in the week and not be able to get to the ballot."

Amy Dyson said she has never had a bad experience early voting and enjoys avoiding the lines.

An early vote can be cast at the Riordan Hall in Bella Vista, Centerton Fire Department and the Bentonville County Clerk Office. There will be 14 polling sites on Sept. 17.