This afternoon, Dennis Whipple, the chairman of the Independent School District (ISD) 742 said “We are having record, historic turnout. All of our polling places — it’s really exciting to see the community engaged around this vote.” Later, Chairman Whipple said “Historically, we were told to expect for a special election or a referendum to expect between 4,000 and 6,000 votes to be cast. As we understand it, that happened before 11:00 am this morning.

This afternoon, I followed Chairman Whipple on Dan Ochsner’s Ox in the Afternoon show. (Click on this link to listen to those interviews.) One thing I highlighted is that I didn’t see EdMinn people pounding the pavement this cycle. I didn’t see many yard signs out, from either side really, either. This was a low-profile campaign on a high-profile issue.

Though there wasn’t much advertising run on the issue, interest in this issue ran high. When you break the turnout record before noon, that’s exceptionally high turnout.

Check back after 8:00 pm for updates and election results.

20:15 — Chairman Whipple was just on a local radio station from ISD 742 headquarters. He was asked what the next step would be if the bond was approved or rejected. Whipple said that it’s the same either way, adding that if it’s rejected that “we’d go back to listening to the concerns of the district.”

20:45 — The absentee ballots are being counted as this is being written. We might have those results at the top of the 9:00 o’clock hour.

21:00 — St. John’s University vote is in: Yes 74. No 45

21:45 — Ballots have arrived from Colts Academy, Tech High School, Talahi Elementary School, Lincoln Elementary School. They’re counting the absentee ballots and the ballots from Apollo High School. Thus far, the SJU ballots are the only ones counted and announced.

22:15 —

  • Tech High School 473 yes, 635 NO
  • Colts Academy 695 yes, 784 NO
  • Talahi 695 yes, 861 NO
  • Lincoln 132 yes, 171 NO
  • Apollo 621 yes, 777 NO
  • Discovery totals: 468 yes, 515 NO

With 7 of 13 precincts in, 3,148 yes ballots, 3,788 NO ballots. Oak Hill ballots just arrived. Summary thus far: Yes: 45.4%, NO 54.6%

22:30 — Oak Hill totals: 1,379 YES, 1,146 no
With 8 of 13 precincts reporting, 4,527 yes (47.8%), 4.934 no (52.2%)

23:00 — St. Augusta totals: 435 yes, 835 NO. Westwood ballots just arrived. (H/T Kevin Allenspach) With 9 of 13 precincts reporting: 4,962 yes votes (46.2%), 5,769 NO votes (53.8%) total votes cast: 10,731

23:10 — Westwood results: 588 yes, 560 no. Unofficial totals with 10 of 13 precincts reporting: 5,550 yes (46.7%), 6,329 NO (53.3%). (H/T Kevin Allenspach) Total votes cast: 11,879

11:30 — SCSU results: 342 yes, 256 no. Absentee results: 435 yes, 487 no. Total votes: 777 yes votes, 742 no votes. Total votes cast: 13,399 With 11 of 13 polling stations reporting, 6,327 yes votes (47.2%), 7,072 no votes (52.8%)

Technically, there’s still 2 polling stations still left to report but the referendum will fail by a pretty substantial margin. School Board Chairman Whipple and Superintendent Jett haven’t officially conceded defeat but they’ve made gloomy-sounding statements before leaving their ‘Victory Party’ headquarters.

Consider that the last update of this post.

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