New Albany-Plain Local School District officials are hoping for the best as they await the final vote count on Issue 50, the district’s combined bond issue and operating levy.
The measure was approved 4,737 votes to 4,650 votes, according to unofficial results from the Franklin County Board of Elections on Nov. 6. However, the 87-vote margin does not take into account all absentee and provisional ballots.
“I don’t know what the provisional ballots could contain but we’re optimistic that it will go in our favor,” said district spokesman Patrick Gallaway.
Dana Walch, deputy director of the Franklin County Board of Elections, said absentee ballots postmarked by Nov. 5 can be received up to 10 days after the election and provisional ballots have not been counted.
The board has to start counting those ballots by Nov. 21, but the ballots must first be checked by staff and approved by the board of elections, Walch said.
Official results won’t be released until Nov. 27.
Gallaway said the school district would not move forward with any plans for a new building until the Issue 50 results are official.
“We’re still in a holding pattern,” Gallaway said.
The district released the following statement Nov. 7: “Although we do not know the final outcome of the election, it looks like we are on our way to victory. As we now know based on results posted by the Franklin County Board of Elections, Issue 50 is ahead by 87 votes. This difference eliminates the potential of an automatic recount. If the trend in the outstanding provisional ballots follows our election night trend, we should be successful. ... Provisional ballots will be counted in 10 days.”
Levy supporters had an unusual evening Nov. 6 watching results from New Albany High School’s Jefferson Room.
At 9:15 p.m., the vote appeared to be tied at 4,421 based on calculations district officials made from results called in by volunteers from each polling location.
In addition, one household in Licking County was eligible to vote on Issue 50. When the single vote from the Licking County Board of Elections was reported at 9:30 p.m., Issue 50 was ahead by one.
A little after 11:30 p.m., the Franklin County Board of Elections website was updated with all 21 of the county precincts reporting, indicating 50 was approved 4,554 votes to 4,515 votes. That 39-vote margin, or any margin that fell within one-half of 1 percent, would necessitate an automatic recount per state law.
Results posted early Nov. 7 by the Franklin County Board of Elections added to the previous vote totals and brought the district’s margin of approval up to 87 votes, a 0.9 percent margin that would not require the automatic recount.
Read the full story in the Nov. 15 edition of ThisWeek New Albany News.