11-vote difference prompts Harrisburg School District to seek recount

Wednesday, November 10, 2010 | 6:44 p.m. CST

COLUMBIA — The Harrisburg R-VIII School District Board of Education decided Monday night to pursue a recount in both Howard and Boone counties over a failed 30-cent increase to a tax levy.

If approved, the proposition would have generated about $98,000 for the district, which straddles both counties. Homeowners in the district would have paid about $57 more per year in taxes on a $100,000 home, or an extra $4.75 a month.

The vote failed in Howard County, 58-30, but passed in Boone County, 576-559. The total vote was 617-606 — a gap of 11 votes. Those 11 votes constitute about 0.9 percent of the 1,223 total votes cast on the issue.

According to Missouri law, a recount request can be made when a proposition passes or fails by less than 1 percent of the votes cast.

Harrisburg Superintendent Lynn Proctor said the board can file a petition with the circuit court when the votes become official.

“We have the Howard County official numbers, and now we are waiting on Boone County, and those should be coming early next week,” Proctor said.

In Howard County, a bipartisan team of election judges will open the ballot boxes and hand-count the 88 votes to ensure accuracy, Howard County Clerk Kathyrn Harper said.

The Harrisburg School District can also send a representative to watch the process and ensure everything is done correctly.

In a previous Missourian article, Proctor said the proposal aimed to generate revenue for the school district, ease deficit spending and preserve jobs. Because of a budget deficit within the district, there is little left to cut that would not affect student programs, she said.

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