Kent School District’s tech levy lead down to five votes |Wednesday update

Only ballots with signature challenges remain

The results on the Kent School District’s technology and capital levy tightened up as the measure leads by only five votes after the latest results released Wednesday by King County Elections.

Proposition No. 2, which had a 10-vote lead on Tuesday, has 50.01 percent yes votes (11,794) and 49.99 percent no votes (11,789). Proposition No. 1, the replacement and operations levy, continues to pass with 50.52 percent yes votes (12,779) and 49.48 percent no votes (12,517).

The tech measure received two more yes votes and seven more no votes after the Wednesday count.

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

King County Elections will update the count Thursday and certify the election Friday, Feb. 23.

There are a total of 199 outstanding signature challenges for Kent, said King County Elections spokesman Kafia Hosh in a Wednesday morning email.

“Signature challenges occur when a voter does not sign the back of the ballot return envelope or when the signature on the return envelope does not match the signature(s) in their voter registration record,” Hosh said. “Voters have until 4:30 p.m. the day before certification (Thursday, Feb. 22) to fix the issue with their signature in order for their ballot to be counted.”

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.

After the Feb. 13 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).

Voter turnout in King County is 31.8 percent of 732,461 registered voters. Election officials counted 232,937 ballots.

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