By Patty MacDonald, January 18, 2022
Martin Luther King month seems an appropriate time to revisit an unfortunate decision our own POA took several months ago. First, a bit of background: when my husband and I moved into our new home here in the Village in 1984, we were registered as Democrats. It had rained for days on end, so secondary roads just outside the Village were slick with mud, and county road signs were non-existent. In that November’s General election, we went to Coronado Center along with our patriotic neighbors to vote. Once inside, we presented our registration to election officials, who passed it along to other officials. Finally, we were told that there was not a Democratic ballot for us because no one had foreseen the need for one. By this time it was growing dark and a squall was descending on us. We were told to drive up Danville Road to a church where we might find one. We didn’t vote that year. That was my introduction to “voter suppression.”
I’ve never thought of that incident as purposeful, just neglectful–until something similar happened this fall with our current HSV POA board. A high-ranking election official told me that when he approached the board last fall to finalize where the Village polling places would be for this upcoming Special School Election, one of the women on the Board quipped dismissively, “These people [Villagers] can go outside the gates to buy groceries. They can go outside the gates to vote.” Accordingly, the Board approved the motion and we have no polling places inside the Village for this important election on February 8. It was too late to correct this snap decision when our Saline County JP Keith Keck went back to the Board a month later and asked them to reconsider their decision, which they did unanimously. Whether it was done with intent or naivete, this is “voter suppression.”
This Special Election over Fountain Lake School District’s 5 mill tax increase will be won or lost on voter turnout. You can be sure that with a polling place on campus every employee and their family members will vote for the increase, but it is mostly Village homeowners who will pick up the tab if it passes. Mix in a little bad weather and lots of elderly and/or disabled Villagers will be unable to get to polls outside the gates. OR they may be wary of exposing themselves to Omicron. The outcome of this election is highly uncertain. If you agree with my reasoning VOTE NO!
Three Ways to Cast Your Vote
The three voting options for the proposed 5 mill increase are (1) regular Special Election Voting, (2) Absentee Voting, and (3) Early Voting.
***There will be no polling places inside the Village Gates.***
(1) Special Election Voting
Regular Special Election Voting is on February 8, 2022. There are three voting locations where FLSD Villagers can cast their votes on February 8. Polls are open from 7:30 a.m. until 7:30 p.m at all locations.
- FLSD Campus
- Community Baptist Church, Hwy. 7 N.
- USA Self-Storage, (Old Cranfords), in the East Gate Plaza
(2) Absentee Voting (Deadline to request is February 1)
For more information you can call:
- Garland County taxpayers in FLSD contact County Clerk – 501-622-3610
- Saline County taxpayers in FLSD contact County Clerk – 501-303-5630
Click here to check your voter registration information – confirm your address, party association, ballot status, and polling place locations.
(3) Early Voting
Early voting is February 1-7, 2022, (closed Saturday & Sunday) at the Garland County Election Commission Office at 649 A Ouachita Avenue, Hot Springs, from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.Questions? Email NoFLSDmillageincrease@mail.com
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