Central Unified School District’s Measure C bond has inched closer to victory but still lacks the 55% voter approval needed to pass, according to the latest vote totals from the March 3 primary election.
But is there still hope? The Fresno County Elections Office, which released the updated vote totals Wednesday afternoon, reports that 3,000 ballots remain to be tallied countywide. How many of those are in Central Unified is anybody’s guess.
Central Unified Superintendent Andy Alvarado said Wednesday afternoon said he’s still hopeful that the remaining ballots will contain enough yes votes to push Measure C to victory.
In the latest tally, Measure C, a $120 million bond measure for school repairs, modernization and phase 2 of the new high school, has 54.6% yes votes to 45.4% no votes. Last Friday the vote count showed the measure receiving 54.2% yes votes to 45.8% no votes.
“We’re still hanging in there,” he said. “We’re gonna wait until all the ballots are counted before giving up on Measure C passing with 55% required.”
Recount Is An Option
The next vote tally from the county Elections Office is scheduled for 3 p.m. Friday.
If Measure C still hasn’t hit the 55% threshold by the time all votes are counted and certified, Central Unified could ask for a recount, given how close the measure is to passing, Alvarado said.
But if that proves to be prohibitively expensive, the district may just wait and try again on the November general election ballot, he said.
What would they do differently next time? “I think what will change is the fact that the high school will be closer to coming to fruition,” Alvarado said. “One thing we’ll need to do is really communicate where we’re at in terms of being able to finance the completion of the high school.
“The reality is, we do need this ballot measure to pass in order to complete the VAPA building and also the swimming pool, and hopefully getting that high school completed as a full comprehensive high school sooner rather than later.”
No Changes For Fresno, Clovis Bond Measures
The latest tally showed no change in the vote margins for the Fresno and Clovis unified school districts bond measures.
Fresno’s $325 million Measure M is passing by 59% to 41%, while Clovis’ $408 million Measure A is falling short 51% to 49%.
Fresno Unified officials were sufficiently confident of victory based on initial results that officials conducted a news conference the day after the primary to thank voters for their support of the measure, which will add about $25 to property tax bills for each $100,000 of assessed value.
Clovis, meanwhile, initially saw the number of yes votes gradually climb as more vote tallies were announced, but officials saw that the trend wouldn’t be sufficient to push the measure to victory.
The failure of many local bond measures across the state as well as Proposition 13, the statewide $15 billion bond measure for public schools, colleges and universities, has been attributed to a variety of factors, including financial uncertainty and concerns over the growing COVID-19 coronavirus crisis.
The California Secretary of State’s office was reporting Wednesday that Proposition 13 is losing statewide, with 54% no votes to 46% yes votes. It needs only a simple majority to pass.
In Fresno County, voters are rejecting Proposition 13 by a margin of 59% to 41%.