Voters throughout Southeast Idaho head to the polls today to vote on various supplemental and plant facilities levy requests by local school districts.

    As far as the total amount, the biggest election is a request by Pocatello/Chubbuck School District 25 to increase its current supplemental levy from $6 million to $7.5 million.

    School District 25 Superintendent Mary Vagner said it’s hard to gauge what turnout might be, but her instinct tells her a lot of people will vote in the election.

    “It’s hard to tell what the size of the turnout might be,” Vagner said Monday. “But I think people are more aware that we’re running the levy election than they were two years ago.”

    That’s a significant statement in light of the fact voter turnout for the district’s supplemental levy election in February 2009 was almost double what it was in 2007.

    District 25 officials hope the second time’s the charm in their request for a $1.5 million increase to the supplemental levy, which is currently $6 million. Two years ago, voters denied a similar request to increase the levy by a margin of 3,493 to 2,985.

    It was only the third time the levy failed in 60 years (it passed in

2007 with 67 percent of the vote). Following the defeat of the $7.5 million request, a second request two months later for the usual $6 million levy passed overwhelmingly with 73 percent of the vote.

    According to district officials, property taxes would increase about $2.05 per month on $100,000 of taxable value if the levy request is OK’d by a simple majority of voters.

    For a list of polling places, see page A9.

    Polls are open from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. around Southeast Idaho. Here’s what residents of other communities will be asked to vote on:

    • The Blackfoot School District is requesting a supplemental levy of $1.975 million. Polls are at Fort Hall, Stalker, Ridgecrest, Riverside, Wapello and Groveland elementary schools, Mountain View Middle School and the Blackfoot Performing Arts Center.

    • The Snake River School District is asking to convert $375,000 of a previously approved $500,000 plant facilities levy to a supplemental levy for two years. Polling places are at Riverside, Rockford, Fort Hall and Moreland elementary schools.

    • The Shelley School District is asking for a $390,000 plant facilities levy for 10 years. Polling places are at Groveland, Riverview and Sunrise elementary schools.

    • Firth School District is seeking a $95,000 plant facilities levy for 10 years. Polling places are at Johnson, Wapello, Groveland, Sunrise and Riverview elementary schools.

    • Aberdeen School District is seeking a $600,000 supplemental levy. Polling places are at Bingham County Shop, 1947 W. 800 S., and the Springfield and Aberdeen American Legion Hall, 184 S. Main St.

    • In the Soda Springs School District, patrons will vote on a supplemental levy of $656,000 and a plant facilities levy of $498,000 for 10 years. Polling places are in Soda Springs, Wayan, Freedom, Bailey Creek and Georgetown.

    • The North Gem School District is requesting a supplemental levy of $200,000. Voting will take place at the Lions Building in Bancroft.

    • Grace School District is seeking a $150,000 plant facilities levy for three years. Polling is at the Gem Valley Performing Arts Center and at Thatcher Elementary School for Franklin County residents.

    • The Bear Lake School District is asking for a $500,000 supplemental levy. Montpelier precincts 1, 2 and 3 (Bennington, Bern and Dingle) will vote at the Allred Center, 21620 Highway 89 in Montpelier. Residents of Paris, Bloomington and Liberty will vote at the rear Tabernacle annex, 40 S. Fielding in Paris. St. Charles and Fish Haven residents will vote at St. Charles City Hall. Residents of Georgetown will vote at Georgetown City Hall. Geneva residents vote by mail.

    • West Side School District is seeking a $90,000 supplemental levy. Polling is at the West Side High School media center.

Complete results will be posted on our Web site.