Archive for Thursday, October 25, 2007

Bond issue voting comes to an end

October 25, 2007

Voters in the Basehor-Linwood School district still have time to participate in a $39.9 million school bond referendum -- but the deadline is approaching fast.

Ballots in the mail-in referendum must be returned to the Leavenworth County Clerk's Office by noon today to be counted in the outcome.

The district is asking voters to approve constructing a new third- through fifth-grade elementary school for $11.45 million, a new sixth- through eighth-grade middle school for $24.8 million, six additional classrooms and renovations at Glenwood Ridge Elementary School for $2.5 million, renovations at Linwood Elementary for $750,000 and a new soccer field for $400,000

The Clerk's Office mailed out 7,751 ballots earlier this month to registered voters in the district. As of Tuesday morning, the office had received 4,233 filled-out ballots to be counted in the tally, County Clerk Linda Scheer said.

Another 90 ballots were "in holding," Scheer said, for various reasons.

"It could be because of a failure by the voter to sign the ballot, to include their address on the ballot, or because the address they gave was different than what they're registered under," Scheer said.

Scheer said her office has attempted to contact each of those 90 voters to rectify the discrepancies. Those people, she said, would have to visit the courthouse before noon today to take the appropriate action and have their ballots counted.

"It all has to be done by noon today," Scheer said.

Regardless of what the mail brings today to the courthouse, voter turnout in this bond election has surpassed the two most recent special bond elections in the district.

Scheer's office also has had 1,030 ballots returned by the U.S. Postal Service as undeliverable. She said the number might seem high, but Scheer said she was confident ballots are winding up in registered voters' hands.

"We've had some calls that the post office made a mistake and just didn't deliver them, but certainly there are some voters who moved and did not reregister. The envelope clearly states, "Do Not Forward," so in those cases, the post office did their job," Scheer said.

The 4,233 approved ballots already represent a turnout of 54.6 percent. That's well ahead of the 31.7 percent turnout in the November 2005 bond election and the 38.9 percent in an April 2003 bond election.

Scheer attributed the

"From prior counties, we knew voter participation would be higher (with the mail-in ballots)," Scheer said. "It doesn't necessarily point to a yes or no vote, though."

Scheer said she expected all ballots to be counted and preliminary results know sometime this afternoon.

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