Nearly 6,000 Ballots Rejected

Thousands of mail-in ballots never reached potential voters in Salina’s sales tax question, because they came back undeliverable.

“We have a lot of people who move, it’s a very mobile society,” said Saline County Clerk Don Merriman on Thursday.

“It’s their responsibility to get themselves updated.”

Merriman joined City Manager Jason Gage on the KSAL Morning News with a look back at the count that approved a sales tax increase to help pay for Salina street improvements, capitol projects and economic development.

According to Merriman, over 11,500 votes were accepted with 53.74-percent of the ballots saying yes to the measure while 46.26-percent of voters opposed it.

Merriman says 80-percent of the nearly 6,000 ballots that were wasted – were directly related to residents who did not leave forwarding information when they moved. Others were not counted because of no signature or wrong signature issues.

City leaders will allocate the $9.35 million raised annually from the new sales tax rate by injecting $3.6 million for neighborhood street updates, using $2 million to fund capital projects, $1.35 million will be set aside for river renewal, $1 million will help stabilize local property tax.

Salina Park facilities get a $600,000 boost, $500,000 is earmarked for economic development, while $300,000 will be used in neighborhood redevelopment.