Archive for Wednesday, November 16, 1994

DESOTO SCHOOL BOND RESULTS AGAIN IN DOUBT

November 16, 1994

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After surviving a close call last week, a school bond issue in DeSoto is once again in jeopardy.

A couple in the DeSoto school district have filed a petition in Johnson County Circuit Court, seeking to invalidate the Nov. 8 election on the $4 million bond issue.

Gil and Jo Murdock claim an election-night error skewed results, which officially were listed at 1,621 to 1,617 in favor of the issue.

The couple, of rural Olathe, said they voted at a poll where at least 28 people from outside the school district apparently were allowed to cast ballots on the bond issue.

The Murdocks said the problem occurred at a polling place shared by voters in the DeSoto and Olathe school districts. A ballot mix-up, they said, resulted in residents within the Olathe district voting on the DeSoto issue.

Under state law, the school district has four more days to respond to the Murdocks' claim. A hearing will be set in the next 19 days.

After the election, unofficial results showed the bond issue passed by a narrow margin, 1,619 to 1,617. But the discovery of two sealed challenge ballots -- from voters whose status was questioned at polls -- threw the issue into doubt.

Had both ballots contained "no" votes, the issue would have been defeated. Under state law, ties are the same as losses.

Last Friday, the Johnson County Board of Canvassers unsealed the ballots and revealed that both contained "yes" votes.

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