Recount flips a $569 million school bond election in Texas

Register now

A recount flipped the results of a $569 million bond election for the Midland, Texas, Independent School District into the win column.

Instead of failing by 25 votes, per the final results, the bond proposal passed by 11 votes, the recount showed.

The Midland ISD met Tuesday with Midland County election officials to consider results of the recount.

The recount committee counted 22,811 ballots. The County Elections Office originally showed 23,631 ballots were cast on the proposition amid confusion with machines on election night.

First reports had the bonds passing by 17 votes election night. When official results were released on Nov. 12, it was learned that mail-in ballots were not included in the unofficial cumulative results. Those results showed the bond actually failed by 25 votes.

“At the conclusion of a long and tedious process, the final tally of votes shows that the bond passed by eleven votes,” a statement on Facebook from bond supporters said. “We are grateful we had the opportunity to work alongside one another to ensure an accurate count in this election.”

The recount was sought by a political action committee called “We Choose Our Future” that backed the bond proposal.

“It is standard practice to request a recount for any election with so few ballots determining the outcome,” the PAC said in a Facebook post. “In several states, this 25 vote difference (0.1% of all votes cast) would have triggered an automatic recount. We owe it to the voters, and our supporters, to ensure an accurate vote count. We look forward to a transparent and open process.”

An opposition group called “Better Bond for Midland” said that 800 ballots were missing. Any legal challenge to the election could prevent the district from issuing bonds until it is resolved.

Based on preliminary results, the MISD proposal was the largest to fail out of $16 billion of state and local bonds on the Nov. 5 ballots and one of the few school bond proposals to fail based on preliminary results.

If the recount stands, it will mean that Texas voters approved $15 billion of the $16 billion of bonds on Nov. 5 ballots for a 94% passage rate. The passage of school bonds statewide rises $6 billion to 86% of the $6.92 billion on ballots. MISD was one of 57 school districts seeking bonds.

For reprint and licensing requests for this article, click here.
School bonds Bond elections Texas