The Iowa Supreme Court has upheld a district court’s ruling in the challenge of a western Iowa school’s bond issue vote. The bond issue vote for the Avoca-Hancock-Shelby-Tenant Community School District (AHST) in September of 2005 ended with the 5.4 million dollar issue passing by the slimmest of margins.
Sixty-point-two-nine percent of the voters said yes, just pushing the issue past the required 60-percent needed. A recount was requested by the opponents of the issue and one yes ballot was thrown out, but there were still just enough votes to pass.
The opponents then had 20 days to filed a petition and a bond with the Pottawattamie County Auditor seeking to convene a "contest court." They filed the petition on time contesting the election based on alleged irregularities in voter registration forms, absentee ballot requests, and absentee ballots. But there was discussion with the auditor over how much bond they had to pay. That discussion kept the bond form being filed in the required time.
Supporters of the issue contested the appeal on the grounds the bond had not been filed in the legally required time. The district court eventually agreed the bond was not filed on time and the contest court could not go forward. The opponents appealed the district court ruling, and the Iowa Supreme Court upheld the lower court ruling, saying the bond had not been filed in the required time. The bond money will be used to buy land and build athletic facilities.