Pike County voters favor September 18th Amendment

Published 8:59 pm Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Voter turnout was better in Pike County for a September referendum than it was for run-off elections back in April, according to Pike County Probate Judge Wes Allen.

“Overall, it’s been good,” Allen said. “It will be a good warm-up exercise for November.”

With 33 of 34 precincts reporting, the referendum was favored in Pike County. Unofficial results provided by the Pike County Probate Office show 3,610 people voted “yes” and 1,745 voted “no.” The 34th precinct is made up of provisional ballots that will be canvassed next week, according to Allen.

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Early returns reported by the Associated Press show favor towards the amendment statewide.

Tuesday’s vote will decide if the Legislature is allowed to take $437 million out of a state trust fund to help balance the state General Fund budget for the next three years. The money would be removed from the Oil and Gas Trust Fund set up 30 years ago to receive the state’s royalties from natural gas wells drilled off the Alabama coast.

Critics of the referendum include some tea party groups, the Alabama Federation of Republican Women and House Minority Leader Craig Ford, D-Gadsden.

Proponents of the plan argue that its failure to pass would lead to dramatic cuts in state health care programs.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.