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Irregularities in Ambulance Tax Vote Won't Change Outcome

About 750 eligible voters were not allowed to vote on sales tax question because of miscommunication between county commissioners and county clerk's office.
(ST. JOSEPH, Mo.) Buchanan County officials have discovered some irregularities with the recent countywide ambulance tax vote.

While the tax passed, not everyone in the county had the opportunity to vote.

The original plan was to create an ambulance district, which includes most, but not all of Buchanan County.

A southeast section of the county is served by Tri-County Ambulance District.

When the plan changed to include the entire county, there was some miscommunication with Mary Baack-Garvey, the county clerk. About 750 registered eligible voters did not get the chance to fill out a ballot.

"It's kind of an unfortunate thing that everyone should have had the opportunity to vote on it," said R. T. Turner, presiding Buchanan County commissioner. "She was still working on a concept of an ambulance district with two people being taxed in two separate districts."

The 1/4 cent sales tax hike passed by around 3,000 votes. Turner says even if everyone in the omitted area voted against the tax, it still would have passed.

The county will take over ambulance service from Heartland Health next July.

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