Early voting for election in May begins Thursday

KINGMAN - Early voting on Proposition 100, the 1-cent temporary state sales tax increase, starts Thursday. The last day to request an early ballot is at 5 p.m. on May 7. Local voters will also have a choice between four candidates running for the two remaining Kingman City Council seats.

Voters interested in getting an early ballot in the mail can contact the Mohave County Recorder's Office at (928) 753-0767 or stop in at the office at the County Administration Building, 700 W. Beale St., to request one.

Early ballots must be mailed by May 13 in order to make sure they get to the County Elections Office on time to be counted. Voters may also drop off their early ballots at a polling place on election day, May 18.

Those not wishing to cast an early ballot can cast their vote at their polling place on May 18. To locate your polling place, visit www. co.mohave.az.us, click on the "E-Government" tab in the center of the site and then scroll to the bottom of the page. Voters can also contact the Mohave County Voter Registration Office at (928) 753-0767.

Gov. Jan Brewer has pushed for the 1-cent sales tax increase as a way to avoid cuts to state education, health and human services and public safety programs. According to information from the Arizona Legislative Council, the tax is supposed to last for three years and increase the state sales tax from 5.6 cents per dollar to 6.6 cents per dollar.

According to the Joint Legislative Budget Committee, if voters approve the tax increase, state sales tax revenues would increase by $918 million in its first year, $968 million in its second year and $1.06 billion in its third year. Two-thirds of the funds would be appropriated for education.

The remaining one-third would be used for health and human services and public safety programs. Cities and counties would not get a direct share of the revenues raised by the tax.

According to the state's ballot publicity pamphlet, several professional teaching and education associations, school boards, law enforcement associations, medical associations and even the Arizona Chamber of Commerce are in favor of the tax increase. The directors of the Arizona Healthcare Cost Containment System, the Department of Economic Security and the Department of Health Services have also signed in favor of it.

There are also a number of groups who oppose the increase, including, Sen. Ron Gould; a former chief deputy of Maricopa County School Superintendent's Office; the Americans for Prosperity, a tax reform group; a former Maricopa County assessor; and gubernatorial candidates Buz Mills and Dean Martin.