Initial election results show voter approval of the Ferndale School District’s proposition for a $112 million bond issue at 57%, short of the state-required super-majority of 60% needed for school bonds.
The Whatcom County Election Division reports an estimated 3,000 ballots from Whatcom County voters have yet to be counted. Officials note that number includes ballots currently in their office and does not estimate ballots not yet received.
Assigning a portion of those ballots to Ferndale makes it appear unlikely the proposition will achieve the 60% mark. For example, if 25% of the 3,000 ballots were from within the Ferndale School District boundary (the current percentage is closer to 15%), 100% would need to contain votes in support of the bond for it to pass.
Of the ballots that have been counted, the proposition was within 315 votes of getting to the needed 60%.
Supporters may take heart in the difference in voter response since the last bond proposal was on the ballot. That was during a special election in February 2014 and was for a $125 million bond proposal. It received just over 30% approval with 2,386 votes in favor of the bond and 5,206 against.
The next opportunity to bring a bond proposal to voters would be during a special election in the spring of 2019.