Less than one-third of Gilbert voters who requested early ballots have returned their ballots so far in a controversial Nov. 6 election that questions two developments in town and asks for more funding for the town and schools.
There were 7,204 requests for early ballots and 2,311 had been returned at the end of last week, Town Clerk Cathy Templeton said.
Nov. 2 is the last date early ballots can be returned, though they can be dropped off at polling locations on Nov. 6, election day. Friday is the last day early ballots can be requested.
For the last town bond election, in 2006, only 2,863 early ballots were returned. However, in the town’s last referendum election in 2003, 7,125 early ballots were returned. There are about 80,463 registered voters in Gilbert.
The ballot includes two referendum questions: One asks voters to approve a town agreement with Vestar Development to repay the company for expanding roads at Higley and Riggs roads in preparation for Vestar’s planned Greer Towne Center.
The other asks voters to approve rezoning of 45 acres from homes to commercial in an area where some residents say they are already overrun with commercial development.
Gilbert voters also will be asked to approve $174 million in bonds to complete major road projects.
And those living in the Gilbert Unified School District are being asked to approve $82 million in bonds to pay for the district’s fifth high school, next elementary school and additional funds for heavy maintenance and renovation at existing schools, purchase of student transportation vehicles, and purchase or lease of school lots, as well as a $17.6 million maintenance and operations override renewal and an $8.2 million capital outlay override.
To request an early ballot, call Gilbert at (480) 503-6871 or Maricopa County at (602) 506-1511, or visit http://recorder.maricopa.gov.
Voters can turn in their early ballots 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. through Nov. 2, or between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. Saturday, at Gilbert’s Civic Center, 50 E. Civic Center Drive. Ballots can also be dropped off 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. until Nov. 2 at the Maricopa County Recorder’s Office, 222 E. Javelina Ave., Mesa.