2010-05-09 / Front Page

EVERY VOTE COUNTS!

Montrose Community Schools want a recount
By Jeanne Marcello Staff Reporter

MONTROSE – Montrose Superintendent Mark Kleinhans thought it was a joke when he heard the election results late Tuesday, May 4. He was told the millage renewal ballot question ended in a tie vote: 199-Yes, 199-No.

“That’s very rare,” Kleinhans said, adding the count was “unofficial” at the time.

But on Thursday, May 6, the Board of Canvassers certified the total at 199-Yes, 200-No, after a provisional ballot was added to the count.

According to Election &Vital Records Supervisor Doreen Fulcher of the Genesee County Clerk’s Office, the provisional ballot came from Montrose Township. Fulcher explained that Michigan voters are required to show identification to vote. If the voter does not have a drivers’ license to show, he or she can sign an affidavit swearing eligibility and vote in the election. She explained that in this particular case, the election workers involved issued a provisional ballot by mistake. The provisional ballot was not tallied with the other votes until Thursday, when the reason for the provisional ballot was established.

The loss of $606,000 in tax revenue would be a significant reduction in the Montrose Schools operating budget, Kleinhans explained.

“Obviously, it’s going to have a major negative impact in our district,” Kleinhans said, “We’ll have to look at additional cuts, make our changes and move forward.”

“We do a great job educating these kids. As we make cuts, they’re going to hurt. But our core mission is teaching and learning to increase student achievement. We’re doing some great things for kids.”

When asked about the results, Kleinhans said he had talked with many people who said they were convinced it would pass. After receiving news of the 199 - 200 vote tally, Kleinhans said, “We’re going to petition the board of canvassers to contest it.”

The Election Commission reported eight under-votes, according to data on the Genesee County Clerk’s Election Results web page. The Board of Canvassers did not evaluate those eight votes. There is a possibility that the computerized tabulator couldn’t read the votes if the voter marked an “X” or a checkmark, instead of filling in the entire box.

Kleinhans is still hopeful the renewal millage on non-homestead properties will pass once the ballots are recounted with the results from the under-votes.

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