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Townsend school bond recount set for next week

Posted at 4:18 PM, May 13, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-13 20:51:43-04

HELENA — A recount is set for next week in the extremely close vote on the Townsend School District’s $18.8 million elementary bond proposal.

Last week, on Election Night, the initial results showed 1,040 votes in favor of the bond issue and 1,038 votes against it.

School board chair Jason Noyes said they held the final canvass of votes Tuesday night and found an additional “yes” vote that hadn’t been counted. That brought the final margin to three votes – still within the 0.25% that would make the vote eligible for a recount.

State law says, if a vote on a district ballot issue is that close, a recount must be held if 10 voters sign a petition for it. Broadwater County elections administrator Doug Ellis said his office received a petition Wednesday morning, and they confirmed it had enough valid signatures by the end of the day.

The recount will be held Monday at noon, in the Community Room at the Townsend library. Noyes said the board will oversee the recount, then hold a special meeting that evening to canvass votes again.

If the bond issue is confirmed to have passed, it will pay for a new elementary school in Townsend – replacing the current school, which district leaders say is outdated and impractical to renovate. It would also pay for renovations at the middle school and safety and security updates.