As of Tuesday evening, roughly 58 percent of Blaine voters said "yes" to the Blaine school district's $32 million capital projects bond initiative, just about 2 percent short of the necessary super majority, which is 60 percent or more of the received ballots.
According to the Whatcom County Auditor's office, 4,007 ballots were returned with 41.1 voter turnout; 2,337 in favor, 1,664 against. District superintendent Ron Spanjer said the final count will be completed over the next few days.
"And now the waiting begins," Spanjer said.
Blaine city hall officials estimated 400 to 500 ballots were dropped off at Blaine city hall.These ballots, in addition to any that were postmarked as of April 26, will be counted over the next two or three days.
The next count will occur at 4:30 p.m. on Wednesday, April 27. Military ballots and any that are postmarked by April 26 but may have been delayed are allowed to come in up until May 10. The election results will be certified on May 11.
The $32 million would pay for extensive school facilities upgrades, including improvements and additions to high school science and math, middle and elementary school facilities. It would also allow for the purchase of property in Birch Bay for a future school.
The bond would cost an additional 35 cents per $1,000 of assessed property value, resulting in a total rate of $1.30 per $1,000 that will hold for 12 years.
The 2008 Blaine capital projects bond initiative failed by about 4 percent, with 54.5 percent of the vote in favor and 45.4 percent against. In the 2008 election, the total voter turnout was 3,893.
For updated election information, visit the county auditor's website.