BOE Delays Canvass Of Special Election

A canvass of the Dec. 14 special election, which renewed a Marshall County Schools operating levy, was postponed Friday morning due to the board of education’s inability to form a quorum.

Marshall County Clerk Jan Pest said the board had opted for a special election, so members were to act as their own canvassers. She said the canvassing process determines which provisional ballots should be counted. The county commission usually sits as a board of canvassers for primary and general elections, but the board is required to perform the task after requesting a special election.

Board of education members could not be reached regarding why they opted for the December election date.

The operating levy, which unofficial vote totals indicate voters passed, will give the school district $16.43 million every year for five years, adding up to $82.16 million for the entire period. It passed by just over 1,000 votes, though only about 22.3 percent of eligible voters in Marshall County turned out to vote.

According to Pest, the canvass process needed at least three of the five school board officials present to have a quorum. Of the five, only John Miller attended Friday. She also indicated that the board members knew they could not make it to the canvass, but it was convened briefly in compliance with the law.

“In all county elections, you have to convene on the fifth business day after,” Pest said.

She said that even in elections where the provisional votes will make little difference, the canvass is still required.

“It’s just a formality, a procedure that you have to follow,” said Pest.

The canvass is scheduled to continue at 5 p.m. Thursday in the Marshall County Courthouse.