Just when it appeared that the Moses Lake School District’s construction bond for a new high school, elementary school, and upgrades to the existing high school had passed by a slim margin of three votes, a group of voters decided to request a ballot recount. During a private meeting at a local business, a total of 25 voters split the cost of the recount, which costs about $2,365.
The Feb. 14 bond election had passed with 5,678 “yes” votes to 3,781 “no” votes. The election was required to receive 60 percent voter approval and narrowly made the requirement at 60.03 percent. So we thought. Now voters are awaiting the results of the recount. County officials meet Monday to decide when the hand recount will be done. The ballots will be counted, then recounted, and people tallying the ballots must come up with the same number twice. If not, the ballots are counted a third time.
The news of the recount has prompted some not-so-nice comments online. Some are frustrated the election is being drawn out and undecided. Others believe the certified results need a closer look and ballots should be indeed be recounted. We encourage the discussion, and hope the ongoing conversation will help and not hurt the process.
Interestingly enough, if this race had been between two individuals, a machine recount would have already been done, according to state election law for recounts. A hand recount is required when the difference between the top two candidates is less than 150 votes and also less than one-quarter of 1 percent of the total votes cast for both candidates, according to the Secretary of State’s website.
We also want the results to be correct, but understand the frustration over this hiccup. The bond has already failed twice and many are raring to get going on a new high school, grade school and other needed improvements at the current Moses Lake High School.
In the meantime, we ask that the discourse be kept respectful and restrained. After all, we’re setting an example for the next generation of voters.
— Editorial Board