School district voters approve Jefferson County measures

PORT TOWNSEND — Voters in the Brinnon and Queets-Clearwater school districts in Jefferson County have approved levies after the second count of ballots Friday.

The outcomes didn’t change from the initial count of the special election ballots Tuesday night.

Brinnon residents were considering a two-year maintenance and operation levy. Voters in the Queets Clearwater School District were voting on a three-year replacement levy.

A simple majority is needed for the levies to pass.

In the Queets contest, a total of 29 ballots were cast, representing 27.86 percent of 104 registered voters. The count was 20 votes, or 68.97 percent, approval and nine, or 31.03 percent, opposed.

The levy will add about $1.50 per $1,000 of assessed valuation and is expected to raise $75,000.

In Brinnon, 535 votes were cast representing 52.67 percent of 1,014 eligible voters. The vote totals are 328, or 61.54 percent, approving the measure and 205, or 38.46 percent, rejecting it.

Betty Johnson, election coordinator at the Jefferson County Auditor’s Office, said that because there were so few ballots received that all the remaining ballots were counted Friday.

“Normally we leave a few behind to certify on the last day. But because these are small districts, we felt we should count them all,” she explained.

Johnson said there were 10 challenged votes — two in the Queets contest and eight in Brinnon.

“These are ballots where the signatures don’t match or the voter didn’t include a signature. We are in the process of getting in touch with voters now to resolve the issues,” she said. “If we can’t reach them by letter, we’ll call them. We will reach out and try resolve the challenge before we can certify.”

Johnson said all ballots must have been postmarked by Tuesday to be eligible and believes that the Auditor’s Office has received all of them at this point.

The election results will be certified on Feb 22 at 4:30 p.m. by the three-member Jefferson Canvassing Board comprised of the auditor, the chairman of the Jefferson County Commissioners and the prosecuting attorney.

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Jefferson County Editor/Reporter Jeannie McMacken can be reached at 360-385-2335 or at [email protected].

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