Hold on, say supporters of the seemingly failed $567 million school bond issue that would fund safety and security upgrades in Jefferson County.
The measure, once written off as defeated, was behind by just 248 votes as of Friday morning, with as many as 10,000 ballots still to be counted, according to the Jefferson County Clerk and Record’s Office.
“Don’t close up shop yet,” said Beth Clippinger, spokeswoman for the clerk and recorder’s office.
Most of the outstanding ballots were cast on Election Day, which saw a “humongous” turnout, according to Clippinger. Military and other overseas ballots must be cast by Wednesday, though updated totals on the bond measure — Issue 5B — should be posted before that, by Tuesday morning.
This comes after nearly everyone — including the Jefferson County Education Association — had conceded defeat Tuesday night, when 5B was losing by more than 9,000 votes. With 288,328 votes counted, the tally is now 49.96 percent in favor and 50.04 percent against.
Jefferson County voters approved the other local school funding measure on the ballot, a $33 million tax increase to hire and retain more teachers.
Clippinger said ballots also have to be cured by voters who either didn’t sign their ballots or their signatures didn’t match their signatures on file with the clerk. Voters also sometimes don’t include a copy of their identification when they vote.
Supporters of 5B are asking people to volunteer to help election officials to cure the ballots. “5B is the little engine that will,” We Are Jeffco said in a statement Thursday night.
Voters this week also soundly defeated Amendment 73, the statewide tax measure that would have raised $1.6 billion annually for Colorado schools.
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