Archive for Thursday, October 25, 2007

Unofficial results: Voters OK bond issue

Razor-thin margin of victory subject to canvass of ballots on Monday

October 25, 2007

Unofficial results give the nod to a $39.9 million school bond issue in the Basehor-Linwood School District, but the official outcome could be swayed by a pending decision whether to count an estimated 50 provisional ballots cast in the election by mail.

Linda Scheer, Leavenworth County clerk, announced the unofficial results Thursday afternoon: 2,181 votes in favor of the bond issue vs. 2,168 votes against.

"It's very close," Scheer said.

The 13-vote difference, she said, could easily change Monday, when the Leavenworth County Commission meets to canvass the ballots. They'll decide which of the provisional ballots will be accepted and counted in the election.

Scheer said many of the nearly 50 ballots were marked provisional because they were cast by first-time voters in the county who had not shown identification. State law requires voters to show valid ID either at the time of registration or when they first vote, but since the balloting was by mail, there was no opportunity to show ID at the polls.

Scheer said voters who requested a replacement ballot because they might have moved were issued provisional ballots also. Those ballots, she said, would be counted if it was determined the voter's original ballot had been returned undeliverable by the U.S. Postal Service.

The bond issue would allow the district to construct a new third- through fifth-grade elementary school, costing $11.45 million; a new sixth- through eighth-grade middle school, at $24.8 million; six additional classrooms and renovations at Glenwood Ridge Elementary School, $2.5 million; renovations at Linwood Elementary, $750,000; and a new soccer field, $400,000.

The election, in which 56.1 percent of eligible voters participated, was the third school bond referendum in the district in four years. Bond issues in 2003 and 2005 both were defeated.

Canvassing of ballots will begin at 9 a.m. Monday at the Leavenworth County Courthouse.

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