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Temple ISD bond fails after provisional ballots counted

Posted at 7:17 PM, Nov 10, 2021
and last updated 2021-11-10 20:17:20-05

Temple ISD’s 178-million dollar bond proposal failed by just two votes. The razor-thin margin was confirmed after mail-in and provisional ballots were counted.

During this go-round, the count for Proposition A was closer than before. With those additional ballots counted, only two votes were the deciding factor for proposition A to be voted down again.

"The ballot review board looked at three vote-by-mail ballots, 18 provisional ballots, and two limited ballots," said James Stafford, public information officer for Bell County. "It was a bipartisan effort and they work together, they have the set, you know, the criteria they had to work through. And for any vote that was rejected, that voter is going to get a letter in the mail explaining exactly why their vote was rejected."

Of those, 11 were eligible to be counted which pushed the final tally to 1965 for and 1967 against. The 178-million dollar bond would have gone towards facility upgrades.

A statement from Bobby Ott, Temple ISD superintendent, said after talking to community members he says some folks regret not voting in this election and says he is committed to meeting the needs of students staff, and facility.

I would just like to say that I am very proud of our professionalism, positivity and honesty throughout this process. No matter what side of the vote, our entire community has highlighted these things throughout the bond process. The needs were determined by our citizens and our engagement with the community has been nonstop. Based on the number of emails and calls I’ve received It appears that many people regret not voting. The democratic process of voting was not founded on the basis of apathy. It was started with the idea that every voice matters - and this includes your voice for your local schools and your own children and grandchildren. The results of this election revealed that truth. As TISD’s superintendent, I want to be clear that I am committed to running this process as many times as necessary to ensure the needs of our students, staff and community are met when it comes to facilities and being provisioned for growth. We will re-engage the community, modify the package based on input and run it back.

Bobby Ott, TISD Superintendent

Jeannette Compan, the Bell County Elections chief deputy said, "It went really well, I know it took a little bit longer than expected because they were being really through because this is such a close race."

Bell County Election officials said turnout was on the lower end, which is normal for elections on odd number years.

"Typically in smaller elections, it is a smaller turnout again not too many individuals come out during this time period," said Compan.

Goodwin, "If you look at the numbers, of the people who actually voted it was around 4 thousand our population is over 70 thousand."

Voter registration and turnout are some of the key focuses for Wake Up Temple.

Terris Goodwin a member of Wake up Temple said, "We try to encourage civic engagement and involvement especially in the younger population."

The group is steadily tackling a reoccurring issue, hoping to prevent this from happening again.

"I definitely feel that we need to do more work in that area and our community as a whole because the voter turnout age was 65," Goodwin said.

"This one really shows us how important every single one of those votes could be that a major issue on the ballot is decided by two votes," Stafford said.

Stafford says the Bell County Commissioners Court will meet on Monday and canvas the vote, then the results will become official.

After this, the district has a certain amount of time to request a recount, which superintendent Bobby Ott has said that he already plans to do.