CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- It's been a little over a week since early voting for the Kanawha County special levy election began, and as of Monday afternoon, about 2,600 people had cast ballots -- about two percent of the county's 134,000 registered voters.
"It's going smoothly," County Clerk Vera McCormick said.
On Monday alone, more than 300 people had voted by early afternoon.
Early voting will continue again from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. today and Wednesday at the Kanawha County Voter Registration Office on Quarrier and Court streets in Charleston.
Election Day will be Saturday, Nov. 9, from 6:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. All regular polling places will be open, with the exception of a precinct in Marmet.
Because the Marmet Recreation Center had already been rented out for the day, voting will take place at Marmet's town hall for voters in Precinct 152.
The special election will determine whether additional property taxes will be levied to fund Kanawha County's school system and libraries.
In February, the state Supreme Court ruled that the Kanawha County Board of Education no longer had to give a portion of its budget -- about $3 million at the time -- to the Kanawha County Public Library system.
The board of education had previously sued to avoid contributing to the library.
Then, later this past year, the board of education proposed an additional, second excess levy, that will take effect on July 1, 2014, that is estimated to generate more than $24 million for the school board in the first year of the tax.
The new levy would be on top of another levy that voters approved last year. That excess levy is capped at a flat rate -- a decision the board made in the name of tax relief for the public.
At the same time, a separate part of the levy would replenish the $3 million in library funding effectively removed by the Supreme Court decision.
In June, the school board voted to combine the school and library levies as one vote, meaning that voters must approve either both levies or neither.
Proponents of the levy have previously said that if the levy fails, the school board will be forced to make budget cuts to fill a projected $4.5 million deficit for the next fiscal year, cuts that Superintendent Ron Deurring has called "drastic." The deficit is expected to grow in coming years.
On the other hand, opponents - including school board president Pete Thaw and the Upper Kanawha Valley Mayors Association -- have said the increased tax burden would hurt Kanawha County residents. Thaw also has called the spending by the school board "out of control."
Both sides have built campaigns supporting their respective causes, including separate Facebook pages and yard signs, with levy supporters creating a "Stronger Kanawha County Schools" campaign and levy opponents creating a "Vote No" campaign.