A bond measure that District 11 officials hoped would trigger a massive investment in facilities is likely heading for a recount.
With nearly 55,000 votes counted and all ballots counted, Issue 4B appears to have failed by just nine votes, according to preliminary data reported to the Colorado Secretary of State.
“It’s entirely possible that there were 10 people sitting at home who could have made a difference in this election,” said Anthony Carlson, who led the campaign on the ballot issue.
D-11 Board of Education votes to place $350 million bond issue on November ballot
Colorado law triggers an automatic recount for any race where the voting margin is less than half of 1% of the votes cast for the winner. Race 4B is separated by just two hundredths of a percent, with 49.99% in favor and 50.01% against.
The voting margin is remarkably thin, but district officials face an uphill battle in the recount: No race in El Paso County has ever been overturned by a recount, a spokeswoman for Clerk and Recorder, Kristi Ridlen.
The biting results came on a measure that would have allowed Colorado Springs School District 11 to borrow $350 million, as it seeks to reduce what it says is a $700 million maintenance backlog. District officials had said the ballot measure would allow them to update heating and cooling systems, upgrade STEM facilities and attract top teachers. The bond would have been a key part of the district’s $1 billion facilities master plan, unveiled in February, which calls for the reconstruction, renovation or repurposing of dozens of schools and campuses.
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District 11 would be required to pay for the recount, according to Colorado law. The district has the option to waive the automatic recount, but spokeswoman Devra Ashby said the district is likely “to continue with the recount process.”
Information on the cost of the recount was not immediately available from the Clerk and Recorder’s office. In 2016, the office charged a county commissioner candidate $2,660 to conduct a recount of about 7,000 ballots.
The race for bond issues appeared tight on election night, with the measure trailing about 400 votes in the election night results. That margin narrowed as an additional 34,000 ballots were counted in the county in the following days, and election officials counted ballots cast by county residents living outside the United States and counted. processed ballots with signature verification discrepancies.
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Ballots returned from other countries, including military votes, were entered into the state-maintained public results system on Friday, Ridlen said.
The recount on 4B will only be officially launched after the county completes its audit of state-mandated risk mitigation results and certifies them. The audit should be complete by the end of this week, Ridlen said, but the clerk’s office won’t begin the recount until after the Nov. 30 deadline for contestants in the non-automatic recount races to do so. request. The bureau must complete all recounts by Dec. 7, according to Colorado law.
Editor’s note: This story has been updated to remove a sentence that incorrectly stated that a D11 school board principal run was in the margin for an automatic recount.