Tuesday voters will head to the polls to decide the fate of a multi-billion dollar mass transit plan for Nashville.
Election Day comes after months of debate on the issue. In the hours leading up to polls opening, both supporters and opponents made a final push to win over voters.
Representatives from Transit For Nashville and NoTax4Tracks both made phone calls, knocked on doors, and encouraged people to vote. Early voting numbers set a new record, and high turnout is expected on Election Day.
Supporters, and members of the Transit For Nashville group argue the plan is a necessary investment in the future of a growing city.
The plan features more than 25 miles of light rail on five corridors, additional bus service and an underground tunnel downtown.
“Nashville is a thriving, growing city,” said Kelly Brockman, Press Secretary for Transit For Nashville. “People want to have a choice to hop on a train or a bus. With this new system there are improvements that will happen this Fall with crosstown routes.”
Members with the group NoTax4Tracks have focused on the fact that four taxes, including a 1-cent sales tax increase would be raised to pay for the plan. Opponents said the plan is too expensive, and focuses too much on light rail.
“When you have 70% or more of the money going to light rail, and only 30% going to bus improvements, that is upside down,” said Jeff Carr, Senior Advisor for NoTax4Tracks. “You’re voting on whether you are going to raise your tax to the highest sales tax in the nation for a plan that doesn’t address congestion.”
The pro-transit group outspent the anti-transit group by about two million dollars.
Polls will be open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Voters will need to bring a photo ID with them to the polls. Davidson County Election Commission officials said the busiest times at the polls were expected to be early in the morning, and in the evening when people get off of work.