Both Kent School District levies passing | Friday Update

Tech levy up by only two votes; 315 ballot signature challenges remain

Just two votes separate the Kent School District’s Proposition No. 2 technology and capital levy after the latest results were released Friday by King County Elections.

Proposition No. 2 has 50 percent yes votes (11,774) and 50 percent no votes (11,772). Proposition No. 1, the replacement and operations levy, continues to pass with 50.51 percent yes votes (12,758) and 49.49 percent no votes (12,501).

Just an estimated 35 ballots countywide remained to be counted, according to the King County Elections website. Voter turnout in the county is 31.73 percent of 732,461 registered voters.

Four of those 35 ballots are from Kent, ones that most likely came late in the mail on Friday, according to a King County Elections spokesperson.

“There also are about 315 signature challenges still outstanding for Kent, a number of which should get resolved before next Thursday, Feb 22 (voters have until the day before certification),” said Kendall Hodson, King County Elections chief of staff, in an email.

Despite the tight count, there are no recounts for local measures, according to the state Secretary of State website. A recount could be requested – the cost would just have to be covered by whomever requested it.

King County Elections will update counts each weekday (except Feb. 19 holiday) until the election is certified Feb. 23.

The technology and capital levy was just 13 votes behind after Thursday’s county. Both levies were failing following the first two days of elections results.

After Tuesday night’s initial count, Proposition No. 1 had 51.14 percent no votes (10,086) and 48.86 percent yes votes (9,637). Proposition No. 2 had 51.61 percent no votes (9,445) and 48.39 percent yes votes (8,855).

Proposition No. 1 is for two years (2019, 2020) and would raise a total of $94 million to help fund nearly 20 percent of the district’s overall budget for its more than 27,000 students. It would fund about one in every five of the more than 3,500 employees in the district.

The measure would replace the four-year levy voters approved in 2014. Funds will go toward day-to-day operations, including safety and security at schools, special education, transportation, music, art and athletic programs.

Proposition No. 2 is for six years. Funds will pay for technology improvements and district facility maintenance not covered by the 2016 bond measure approved by voters. The levy will bring in an estimated $146 million over the six years. The measure will help make sure each student by 2019 has a laptop or laptop-like device and fund 371 facility maintenance projects from new water pipes to new carpet.

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