EDWARDSVILLE - Madison County Clerk Debbie Ming-Mendoza is reporting a slow turnout so far on Tuesday, an Election Day, but she said she is "forever hopeful" that many turn out to vote this afternoon.

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Today is a primary election throughout Illinois.

Ming-Mendoza emphasized there are some important items on the ballots from the local sales tax issue to a primary race for governor, county board and other state and federal offices. Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner is seeking re-election with a challenge from Wheaton’s Rep. Jeanne Ives, a three-term lawmaker. Democratic voters will have six candidates to choose from, including billionaire J.B. Pritzker, Chris Kennedy and Evanston state Sen. Daniel Bliss.

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The hot-button issue in Madison County is whether or not to approve a County School Facilities Tax (CSFT), a one-cent sales tax. If passed, an additional one percent sales tax (or one cent on every dollar) will be added to qualifying retail purchases.

As of now, 47 counties in the state have passed the tax. If it passes, school districts cannot use the revenue for just anything. It would not directly benefit working cash or education funds in any Madison County District. Districts can only use the funds for certain items and contingencies.

Some would be paying outstanding Health-Life Safety bonds and paying for facility projects. Other projects may include roof repairs, ongoing maintenance, energy efficiency, parking lot repairs, security, safety, Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) compliance additions, renovations or new facilities.

Polling places are open from 6 a.m. to 7 p.m.

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