Snoqualmie Valley voters chip in to pay for school bond vote recount

February 24, 2011

By Dan Catchpole

When supporter of the $56 million bond measure to build a new school in Snoqualmie Valley heard that it had failed by a single vote, they started to call for a recount.

The campaign went online. A Facebook page, SVSD School Bond Recount, to raise money to pay for a recount went up Wednesday, and by evening, the group had the $2,650 needed for a recount.

Sean Sundwall, who set up the Facebook page, said he plans to deliver the money and request to King County Elections on Thursday afternoon.

“With the election hanging on literally one vote, it was time to do something,” he said. “If the margin had been 50 votes, 100 votes, it would be a different story.”

Plenty of Valley voters agreed. Most of the contributions that came in were in small amounts — $10 or $20 — but they quickly added up. More than 125 people donated, Sundwall said. “It just blew up in a matter of hours.”

Like other supporters, Sundwall is worried that not passing the bond will have long-term negative consequences for Snoqualmie Valley schools, specifically its middle schools.

The Snoqualmie Valley School Board has already committed to turning Snoqualmie Middle School into a dedicated freshman satellite campus for Mount Si High School. “That leaves us with two middle schools that could not be more displaced from the centers of population” in the Valley, the Snoqualmie Ridge resident said.

“Certainly having my kids on a bus for an hour each way affects how much they like school,” Sundwall said.

His four children are in the third, fifth, seventh and eighth grades.

Given the small number of ballots, a recount could be completed by next week, according to Kim van Ekstrom, a spokeswoman for King County Elections.

Voters in Snoqualmie Valley School District sent in 9,980 ballots, with 5,972 — or 59.99 percent — supporting the bond. Opposing the bond were 3,983 — or 40.01 percent. Twenty-five ballots were rejected.

If the Canvas Board approves a recount, all ballots will be split up and scrutinized by two-person teams made up of election department staff. The process is open to the public.

A vote could change if it is determined that the ballot was filled in improperly or damaged but the voter’s intention is clear, according to van Ekstrom.

Dan Catchpole: 392-6434, ext. 246, or editor@snovalleystar.com.

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One Response to “Snoqualmie Valley voters chip in to pay for school bond vote recount”

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