The Main Library in downtown Little Rock. Brian Chilson

A half-mill increase to keep libraries operating and eBooks and audiobooks available for checkout won nearly 75% of the early vote, according to an unofficial count.

The Pulaski County Election Commission counted 2,115 yeses from early and absentee voters, and only 740 nos.

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Unofficial results from early and absentee voters only.

But it’s not a done deal. These results include none of today’s votes. You can check for an updated tally here.

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UPDATE: The margin was a bit narrower in Election Day voting, but the tally was 4,842-1,973, or a 71 percent approval.

If the trend continues and the proposed millage increase passes, library patrons will see the additional $2.375 million generated annually go toward keeping new library branches and facilities clean and functioning. Salaries of some library staffers, traditionally on the low side, will go up a bit. Revenue would also help cover the surprisingly high costs of providing those eBooks and audiobooks so many of us have grown addicted to in pandemic times.

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