South Whidbey school bond measure may not pass

The South Whidbey School District bond measure has not yet received enough votes to pass, according to the first count of ballots in the April 25 special election.

About 56.53% of ballots were in favor of the proposed $80 million bond, which would fund maintenance and updates at the school district’s two main facilities, the high school/middle school campus and the elementary school’s north campus. The measure requires a 60% supermajority to pass.

The Island County Elections Office reported that 4,996 ballots were tallied so far and an estimated 800 are left to count. Only voters living within the boundaries of the South Whidbey School District were eligible to vote on the bond.

Currently, the turnout is about 34% of registered voters. The next ballot count is scheduled for 5 p.m. on April 26.

If approved, the tax rate for the bond would be 70 cents per $1,000 of assessed property value. Voters have not approved a bond for the school district within the past 30 years.

Superintendent Jo Moccia remained optimistic about the measure passing.

“The (school) board set an ambitious goal for the district to review its assets and execute a facilities bond,” she said Tuesday night in a statement to The Record. “The vote is still too close to call and I remain hopeful that it will pass.”