MAQUOKETA, Iowa — Jackson County Board of Supervisors, in a 10-minute special meeting Monday, agreed with a petition to allow a recount of a ballot measure to allow an additional tax for the new Easton Valley Community School District.
The special election was Feb. 4, and the measure passed 595-494, which would allow the Easton Valley School Board to levy up to $1.34 per year, with the revenues to be used for computers, buses, renovations and repairs. A second measure, which also was approved by voters, was to allow board members to spend the existing 1 percent sales tax. That vote is not part of the recount.
Twelve residents from Sabula signed a petition filed Friday in the Jackson County Auditor's Office seeking a recount.
Monday, supervisors asked some questions about the recount and approved it.
Auditor M. Joelle Deppe said she has appointed Kurt Ullrich of Maquoketa as her representative for the recount. Curt Marzofka of Sabula, who presented the petition, is the second person on the three-person recount board. The two men are expected to meet Tuesday and select a third person.
Deppe said she hopes the recount will be completed by the end of the week. No date has been set for the public session. It was a yes or no question on the ballot with a simple majority to win.
Deppe said the challengers claim some ballots were put under the voting machine and not counted.
"We have an emergency ballot box next to the machine at all elections," Deppe said. "There was one precinct and to keep the line moving, the election workers can drop ballots in the emergency ballot box if they get stuck or won't go through the scanner. At the end of the day, those ballots are put through the machine or hand counted and added to the total."
Deppe said they ran out of ballots and used photocopied ballots, which didn't go through the scanner. She said those were hand counted.
"At the end of the night, everything balanced," she said. "There may be a one- to two-vote error, but not more than 100 votes to make the difference."
She said Marzofka posted the $100 bond required to seek a recount. She said if the recount does not affect the total, the bond will not be returned. Deppe said she would keep it in her election budget.