Voter turnout is larger than expected in Mesa - East Valley Tribune: News

Voter turnout is larger than expected in Mesa

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Posted: Tuesday, May 16, 2006 9:11 pm | Updated: 4:52 pm, Fri Oct 7, 2011.

Voter turnout exceeded the expectations of some poll workers on Tuesday, as a steady stream of Mesa voters endured temperatures pushing 100 degrees and the onset of muggy weather.

Mesa voters went to the poll stations to decide four city measures, including a controversial property tax and a half-cent sales tax increase.

Even in the middle of the workday, voters like Scott Marceau, a 23-year-old loan officer, endured the heat and took the time to vote. He said the proposed sales tax increase might help bring Mesa out of financial hardship.

"The sales tax will be pennies on the dollar," Marceau said. "It won't be like gas

going up $2 a gallon.

"You won't even feel it."

The constant flow of voters like Marceau, who cast his ballot at Parkway Baptist Church on Alma School Road, kept poll workers busy throughout Mesa.

Steve Willeford, who worked the polls at the First Presbyterian Church on Mesa Drive, said that as of 3 p.m., about 300 people had already showed up to vote — not including early ballots.

"We're in a bit of a lull right now, but it was steady all morning," he said. "After 3 p.m., it's going to really pick up."

The steady voter turnout was evident at other Mesa polling stations, like the nearby Fountain of Life Church, which also served District 1. Poll workers said they saw a similar turnout with around 300 voters by midafternoon.

Around the city Tuesday, most voters seemed to be in favor of a sales tax, but split on the property tax.

"I recognize Mesa is in trouble financially, but of course they brought it upon themselves," said Doris Walker, 55, as she exited First Presbyterian Church.

"The property tax just hits the property owners. Sales tax hits everyone. It's a

more equitable tax."

But other voters who came out around midday said they didn't think the property tax would make a big dent in their pockets.

"I don't want my property values going down because the city doesn't have good services," said 57-year-old Sally Tenney as she dropped off her early ballot at the Red Mountain Library polling station in east Mesa.

"I just want a good standard of living in our community," Walker said.

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