By Natalie Conrad
Herald Staff Writer
School board elections for Easton Valley, a merger of East Central and Preston school districts, could take place as early as Dec. 4.
Due to the regular November election, Dec. 4 is the earliest date possible to hold the election, despite prior reports of a January election, according to Jackson County Auditor Joelle Deppe.
“With the November election, there are many Tuesdays blocked out before and after that date,” Deppe said. “Normally we would be able to conduct the election sooner. This is uncharted territory for our county, as the first school merger.”
The new board will consist of seven directors. Three of which would be at-large positions along with four members from different districts throughout the area, in order to best represent the two former school districts, East Central and Preston.
Following the election, board members would be able to start working on combining the two districts in preparation for the 2013-2014 school year as Easton Valley. The merger will be complete next school year, assuming the results of the merger election stand following a recount.
Deppe said she received a recount petition Thursday. Currently she said she is still in the process of picking two designees to monitor the recount process, one representing each side.
The two appointed will pick a third monitor. If they cannot agree on a third person, a Jackson County District Court judge will select someone. The recount must be completed by Oct. 6.
After the canvass, the official count was 620 votes in favor and 598 against the merger in the East Central district. In Preston, the measure passed 776 to 122. There was one blank ballot that went through the machine.
There was a five-vote difference between the unofficial results and the official vote canvassed by the supervisors, but that did not affect the outcome of the election. The provisional ballots included two absentee ballots that came in late but had the proper postmark, two absentee voters who didn’t have a ballot to surrender at the polls and one person who didn’t have the proper identification, but a vehicle registration was accepted.
Further information on the requested recount will be discussed at a Jackson County Board of Supervisors meeting on Tuesday. The deadline to request a contest of the election is Oct. 8.