Eastern Idaho School Bond Goes Down to Third Defeat... By One Vote



A recent recount of an Eastern Idaho school bond election is the latest reminder of how difficult it is to secure a super majority: The bond lost by one vote short of a 66.6 percent majority. And that was the third attempt to pass a bond to build a new school for the North Gem School District in the Carribou County town of Bancroft.

The vote took place in May and initially, the unofficial tally showed that the bond had passed by two votes. But in a recount, which was completed July 3, the official tally showed failure by one vote.

"It was all screwed up," said North Gem school board member George Millward, who insisted that they'll try again in November. "I lost some of my faith in the election process."

Meanwhile, the school district is also losing its superintendent, Jamie Holyoak, who has since resigned from his post. Holyoak had been serving double duty as superintendent of both the North Gem and Grace school districts for the past three years.

This morning's Idaho State Journal reports that the North Gem district has been desperately trying to pass the bond to replace a 100-year-old school building, and may need to consolidate the two school districts. The Idaho State Board of Education is expected to take up the issue at its August meeting. Any such merger would need to be approved by voters—this time, by a simple majority.

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