The recount of South Washington County Schools’ $96 million bond measure will take place Friday.
Plans to hand count some 13,659 ballots from the Nov. 3 election are going forward after School District 833 received a second citizen petition for the recount on Wednesday.
The certified vote total on the bond measure was 6,839-6,820. Under state law, a ballot measure recount can take place at the expense of the school district if the difference is within 0.25 percent. A voter must request the recount in writing and obtain signatures of at least 25 other people eligible to vote in the election.
Cottage Grove resident Bev Moreland submitted a petition to the district on Wednesday, Communications Director Barb Brown said. The petition included 63 voter signatures. Moreland could not be reached immediately for comment.
Superintendent Keith Jacobus said in a statement that a recount is part of the democratic process and the district is confident the outcome will remain, “while also appreciating the request for verification of such a close margin in the recent election.”
An earlier petition was submitted by Cottage Grove resident Mike Fouts, but he withdrew his request after the documentation did not include birth years for those who signed the petition.
The recount is scheduled for 9 a.m. Friday in room 13 of the Washington County Government Center in Stillwater.
Washington County elections supervisor Carol Peterson said the hand recount should be finished in one day. It will cost the school district $500 to $1,000, depending on the number of elections staff used.
Only Question 2 of the district’s three-question referendum is being recounted. That measure sought $96 million to build a new Oltman Middle School along 65th Street in northwest Cottage Grove and make renovations to the district’s other three middle schools - Cottage Grove, Lake and Woodbury.
The $10.3 million operating levy increase in Question 1 was approved by a margin of roughly 56-44 percent. The certified vote total was 7,694-5,988.
Question 3 of the referendum was a $46.5 million bond for elementary school and high school building additions and improvements. That question was rejected 7,102-6,541.