One rejected vote has decided the fate of a proposed tax levy that would have raised over $750,000 dollars for things like new textbooks and technology in the Glenwood Community School District in western Iowa. District residents went to the polls last Tuesday to vote on the 10-year instructional support levy — and when the votes were counted — there was a 434 tie.
The Mills County Auditor’s office received an absentee ballot that was postmarked by the election deadline, but not received by election night. Glenwood Superintendent Stan Sibley says a three-member special precinct board rejected the ballot Monday, so the election results canvassed this morning sent the issue to defeat.
He says the ballot was not returned in the appropriate envelope, so it could not be validated. Sibley says he knows who cast the rejected ballot, and that person had made it clear he was in support of the issue, which made it all the more difficult to accept the results of the vote canvass.
The school district has the right to petition for a recount, and Sibley says that option has not been ruled out. He says he is a believer in public elections, but if there are legal avenues that the school board feels would be in the best interests of the district, and that it would be better served by challenging the outcome, that’ something they will look into. Sibley says the election results are not what they’d hoped for, but it wasn’t due to a lack of effort to educate the district’s constituents about the issue.
He says they felt they had provided as much information as they could to educate district residents about the need for the levy. A similar proposal that went before voters in the Glenwood District 10-years ago, was also rejected.