Ballot error causes confusion on USD 418 LOB question

By Chris Swick
June 05, 2015

A pair of errors from the McPherson County Clerk's office is causing confusion in relation to the Local Option Budget ballot question emailed to USD 418 registered voters this week.

The ballots were accidentally printed with the incorrect amount of increase for the LOB, along with conflicting information as to when you should return it to the County Clerks' office.

The question received by voters asked whether or not they would support a two percent raise in the LOB. The school district is actually seeking a three percent increase to help offset projected shortfalls due to state funding cuts.

A press release from McPherson County Counselor Brian Bina says that the McPherson County Clerk's office will still accept those incorrect ballots and asks voters to not discard their ballot. A letter explaining the situation was sent out immediately.

If you have already discarded your ballot due to the error, you will need to request a new one through the Clerk's office as soon as possible. New ballot mailings will not take place until after the letters have been issued and individual voters have the option of requesting a new ballot.

Also, the ballot envelope has printed on the front that the ballot should be returned by 7 p-m on June 23 and by noon on that date on the back.

Due to that mix-up, the County Clerk's office will accept ballots until the 7 p-m time June 23.

The full press release from Bina is as follows:

PRESS RELEASE

MCPHERSON COUNTY COUNSELOR

On or about June 2ndall Unified School District registered voters were mailed a Local Option Budget ballot question in conformance with K.S.A. 10-120 and amendments thereto. It has recently come to the attention of my office that an error has occurred on the mailed ballots. The error occurred in the McPherson County Clerk’s Office whereby the following ballot question was mailed to the registered voters of USD 418:

“Shall the Board of Education of Unified School District No. 418, McPherson County, State of Kansas, be authorized to increase its local option budget authority by an additional 2% (from 31% to 33%) of its state financial aid?”

To vote in favor, vote “YES”

To vote against, vote “NO”

The Resolution passed by the Unified School District No. 418 Board of Education on the 13thday of April, 2015, and Published in the McPherson Sentinel on April 30, 2015, requested the following ballot question:

“Shall the Board of Education of Unified School District No. 418, McPherson County, State of Kansas, be authorized to increase its local option budget authority by an additional3% (from 30% to 33%)of its state financial aid?”

To vote in favor, vote “YES”

To vote against, vote “NO”

The McPherson County Clerk will be issuing a letter immediately informing the registered voters of the error and requesting that the original ballots be voted upon and returned as if the error had not occurred. If a new ballot is requested by a registered voter, that request needs to take place AS SOON AS POSSIBLE. A new ballot will then be provided to the requesting voter.

Various individuals and agencies have indicated that ballots received with the error should be discarded. DO NOT DISCARD. The McPherson County Clerk has determined that a new ballot mailing will not take place until after the aforementioned letter will be issued and each individual voter will have the option to request a new ballot.

Please note that the front of your ballot envelope states that you must return by 7:00 p.m. on Election Day to the County Clerk’s office. The back of the envelope states that you must return by 12:00 p.m. on Election Day to the County Clerk’s office. Due to this inconsistency, the County Clerk will accept ballots until 7:00 p.m. on June 23rdto allow for all voters to cast their ballots. Any ballot received after this date will be considered improperly submitted and will not be counted.

The Secretary of State, the McPherson County Attorney and the Kansas Association of School Boards have been notified of the situation. Should questions arise, please direct your inquiries to the Office of the McPherson County Clerk.

Very truly yours,

Brian L. Bina

McPherson County Counselor


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