Kellogg School District bond fails

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WALLACE — Voter turnout during the most recent May election was once again low, as roughly a quarter of registered voters in their respective districts came out to make their voices heard on Tuesday.

Falling on May 21, this year’s midterm election day only sported two candidate races and a bond initiative. Local races and initiatives such as these benefit from state or national races being on the ballot, as voters generally turnout better for those.

With no such state or national options though, the “headliner” race on Tuesday was Kellogg School District’s facilities bond.

The 985 voters who reside within the boundaries of KSD (Kellogg, Wardner, Smelterville, Pinehurst and Kingston precincts) gave their opinion on the proposed $7.9 million special general obligation bond and while a majority of them were in favor of it, the “yes” vote failed to achieve the state mandated two-thirds supermajority.

With 614 in favor of (62.7 percent of the vote), versus 364 against (37.7 percent) — the KSD bond fell short of the 66 percent needed to pass (less than 40 votes).

“Yes” votes came out on top in five of the six participating precincts (including absentee), but the numbers were too close in most to get the total where it needed to be to pass.

Broken down by precinct — the Shoshone County Elections Office has unofficially reported Kellogg with 178 in favor of and 117 against, Smelterville with 31 in favor of and 26 against, Pinehurst with 142 in favor of and 75 against, Kingston with 113 in favor of and 74 against, and absentee voting with 130 in favor of and 45 against.

Wardner was the only precinct to have more “no” votes than “yes,” showing 20 in favor of and 27 against.

With 3,690 Shoshone County residents registered to vote in this race, the 985 that participated set the voter turnout at 26.7 percent.

The other two items on the ballot concerned the selection of board members for the Central Shoshone and Kingston Water Districts.

In the Central Shoshone race, newcomers Michael Kennaugh (454 votes) and Shawn Truelove (412 votes) won out over incumbent Joseph Guardipee (233 votes) by nearly double the votes. Qualifying voters in this race were those who live within the Central Shoshone County Water District (Osburn, Kellogg, Wardner and Smelterville precincts) and were allowed to choose two candidates.

Both Kennaugh and Truelove saw their biggest support come from Kellogg (180 and 159 votes, respectively) and absentee voting (187 votes for both), while Guardipee only won one precinct (Smelterville with 31 votes).

Of the 2,573 that could have voted in this race, only 627 registered voters cast a ballot — giving this race a 24.4 percent voter turnout.

The smallest race of the night, in terms of qualifying voters, was the Kingston Water District board election between Derek Jarvey and Alan Olson.

With 79 total votes cast, Jarvey picked up 61 of them and handedly beat out Olson who received 13 votes. Voter turnout was slightly better than the other two races, seeing 31 percent of registered and qualifying voters participate. Qualifying voters in this race were those who live within the Kingston Water District (Kingston precinct).

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