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School levy election draws less than third of voters

‘Disappointed in the turnout’ says board chair


Mike Dominguez

— Less than a third of registered voters in Idaho County decided the Tuesday, March 14 levy for Mountain View School District 244.

Patrons voted “yes” on the $2,663,246 supplemental maintenance and operations levy with a 29 percent overall voter turnout. The levy passed at 52 percent of those voting in favor.

“I have to say I was a little disappointed in the turnout for one thing,” said school board chair Mike Dominguez of Kooskia. “I was really hoping to have a better representation.”

Voter turnout in 2016 for the levy, at the same amount asked for this year, was 53 percent. That levy barely squeaked by with a 50.5 percent approval rate.

“Grangeville voters passed the levy for us,” Dominguez added, saying he is trying to understand the mentality of outlying areas that vote no on the levy.

Dominguez said he feels the school board has done a good job of “towing the line” for the past five years in asking for the exact same amount for each levy.

“We have done more with less, maintained our school facilities and continued to offer the best possible education for our students,” he said. “With the diminishing SRS [Secure Rural Schools] funding, I am concerned we could realistically require a $4 million levy next year to remain in the same position we are currently in.”

  • In the election, 1,694 ballots were cast of a total of the 5,816 registered voters. Overall voter turnout was only 29 percent, as compared to last year’s levy election at 53 percent voter turnout. Of the votes, 882 were yes and 812 no, for a passage of 52 percent in favor, 48 against.
  • Highest turnout areas were Joseph with 12 of the total 18 registered voters voting, 3 yes and nine no, for a 67 percent turnout; Slate Creek No. 1, where 57 of the total 89 registered voters cast a ballot, 17 for and 40 against, for a 64 percent turnout; Lowell with 83 registered voters and 52 ballots cast, 19 yes and 33 no, for a total of 63 percent of the registered voters turning out; Slate Creek No. 2, with 66 registered voters and 39 people voting, 11 yes and 28 no, for a turnout of 59 percent; and Kamiah with 38 registered voters and 22 ballots cast, 3 yes and 19 no, for a turnout of 58 percent.
  • Precincts with the lowest voter turnout included Elk City at 19 percent (39 of its 238 registered voters cast a ballot for 9 yes and 30 no); Grangeville (1-3) at 18 percent (265 of the 1,433 registered voters voted, 187 yes and 78 no); White Bird at 19 percent (61 of the town’s 321 registered voters cast a ballot with 16 yes and 45 no); and Harpster at 20 percent (50 of its 245 registered voters went to the polls for 24 yes and 26 no).
  • Other precincts included Clearwater with 105 votes cast of 319 registered voters for 33 percent turnout (34 yes, 71 no); Cottonwood No. 1, 2 of 4 for 50 percent turnout (2 yes, 0 no); Fenn with 36 out of 130 for 28 percent (16 yes and 20 no); Grangeville 3-4 with 389 out of 1,495 for 26 percent (266 yes, 123 no); Kooskia with 274 out of 1,021 for 27 percent (114 yes, 160 no); Riggins at 0 for 8 at 0 percent; and Stites at 102 of 308 for 33 percent (41 yes, 61 no).
  • For absentee ballots, 189 were cast with 120 yes and 69 no.


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