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General election issues heat up

Absentee ballot applications available soon

PRINCETON — The races in the general election 2014 are heating up as candidate banners and signs begin to pop up around the county and absentee ballot applications will soon be available.

Voters will be looking at two statewide constitutional questions and three advisory questions, along with the local races.

The first advisory questions will be on minimum wage. The first question will ask voters whether or not they support increasing the hourly minimum wage to $10 by Jan. 1. The second advisory question will be on birth control in prescription drug coverage. The question will ask voters whether or nor prescription birth control should be covered in health insurance plans with prescription drug coverage. The third question deals with taxes. The measure asks voters whether they support increasing the tax on incomes greater than one million dollars by three percent for the purpose of providing additional revenue to school districts based on the their number of students.

At the local level, there will be three local referendums. In DePue, residents will be asked whether or not to provide bonds for the DePue Fire Department in the amount of $350,000 for a new fire truck.

In Spring Valley, voters will be asked a second time whether to not to increase the retailers tax by .05 percent for the purpose of street repairs for the city.

In Buda, the fire protection district will be asking residents three questions: levy special tax of .05 percent for the cost of emergency and rescue crews equipment; whether to not to allow overall corporate rate for fire district from 30 cents to 40 cents; establish a rate for ambulance service special tax of 40 cents for purpose for ambulance service tax.

As of now, there are two countywide races for county treasurer and sheriff. In the race for treasurer, Democrat Rick Wilkin will face Republican Courtney Yates-Mabry. In the race for sheriff, Democrat James Reed will face Republican Allan Beaber.

County Board has one contested race in District 20, Democrat Micah Robinson will face Republican Nina Cattani-Urbanowski.

Bureau County Clerk Kami Hieronymous reminded there could still be write-in candidates, as they have until Sept. 4 to file.

A note about this election ballot is it will be a long one. Hieronymous said with the two statewide constitutional questions and three advisory questions, plus the local county races and referendums, the ballot is expected to be filled front and back.

As things stand now, there won’t be a need for a second ballot sheet, but if that need comes along, expenses for the election are sure to increase.

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