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"The South Whidbey School District maintenance and operation levy appeared to gain voter approval in Tuesday's election, but the Parks District bond proposal was barely failing.The two-year school measure received a 61.34 percent yes vote, slightly over the 60 percent majority needed to pass. The numbers were 2,191 Yes:versus 1,381 No. If the lead holds up as late absentees are counted, property owners will continue to pay $1.54 per thousand over the next two years -- the same as the old levy rate. The new levy will raise about $3 million each year for the school district.The Parks District needed 60 percent voter approval to sell $1.45 million in bonds to buy 30 acres and build more ballfields. However, the final tally Tuesday had it falling just short with 59.44 percent of the vote. There were 2,119 Yes votes and 1,446 Novotes.Island County Auditor Suzanne Sinclair cautioned that there are still absentee votes to be counted and results could change. Countywide, there were 4,000 absentee ballots on hand late Tuesday that will be counted later this week. And 1,200 absentees that had been sent out had yet to be returned. There was no estimate on how many of those absentees were from South Whidbey residents. Absentee ballots are valid as long as they are postmarked no later than election day, Feb. 29.More complete results will appear in Saturday's edition of The South Whidbey Record."

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