MARBLE HILL, Mo. -- With all but three precincts reporting, Bollinger County voters appeared to overwhelmingly support a countywide sales-tax increase as well as a deputy recorder of deeds to run to replace her retiring predecessor.
Technical problems with the vote tabulators pushed the finals late into the evening, but with 10 of 13 precincts reporting and absentee ballots counted, the eighth-cent tax increase -- which would generate $70,000 a year for the Tri-City Senior Citizens Nutrition Center -- was all but assured victory with 1,023 voters saying yes and 541 casting no votes.
Republican Dana Fulbright appeared to win the primary for the recorder of deeds seat. If the vote stands, it means she would face off on Nov. 7 against Democrat Patti Barrett, who works in the circuit clerk's office and was unopposed in the primary. Fulbright, currently a deputy recorder of deeds, was beating deputy county clerk Linda Schreckenberg with 767 votes to Schreckenberg's 319 votes.
The sales tax won all of the precincts reporting. Fulbright won all but one of the 10 precincts where votes had been cast.
Martha Peters, director of the senior center in Marble Hill, said she wanted to thank the voters on behalf of all the county's seniors.
"They have rallied around us and we appreciate it," Peters said. "I'm just kind of short on words. I'm definitely excited about it."
Peters said her first order of business is to establish a board that will determine exactly how the money will be spent. But her top requests to the board will be to get the center's electrical system checked out. Over the summer, the center had to resort to unplugging some freezers in order to use the center's ovens. If they ran both of them, it would cause the center's system to short out, she said.
Eventually, she hopes to hire on more help and give employees health insurance, something they have never had. She would also like to make repairs to the building, a converted school building that last served as a school in the 1950s.
Meanwhile, Fulbright said she's ready to take on her next opponent.
"I'm excited, ecstatic and ready to go again," she said. "It's been hard work already, but I'm going to get out there and work harder."
Fulbright plans to continue to push her experience. But she doesn't expect to run away with the general election.
"It's going to be close," she said. "I think it's going to be a tough race."
335-6611, extension 137