In addition to electing a new mayor for the first time since 1995, Tuesday’s ballot will also include Proposition 1, a measure that will place cameras in the Central Business District if voters say yes.
Hitt Street, Elm Street, Providence Road and Rogers Street in front of Columbia College border The District.
The movement for the downtown cameras began with Karen Taylor, mother of Adam Taylor. Adam was a victim of an assault in a parking garage that had security cameras, which led to the arrest of five of the seven teenagers responsible.
Karen cites the incident involving her son as an example of how valuable cameras are in helping with investigations and trials.
After the incident, Karen founded Keep Columbia Safe, a grass roots organization intended to improve public safety. The organization led the movement for the proposition by circulating a petition on downtown cameras.
Not everyone agrees that downtown cameras are necessary, citing concern over how effective the camera would be in catching crime.
Columbia Police Chief Ken Burton said the cameras could be up for years without detecting a crime and he thinks the biggest value of the cameras would be as a deterrent.
Another concern for opponents of the proposition is that the videos recorded on cameras would become public record.
Keep Columbia Free, a political action committee that opposes the ballot issue, sponsored a Friday screening of “1984,” a film adaptation of George Orwell's novel depicting a totalitarian society marked by heavy surveillance of citizens.
Are you for or against Proposition 1?