Absentee ballots failed this week to reverse an election-night upset in the Chewelah mayor’s race or the defeat of a Loon Lake School District levy.
Absentees succeeded, though, in validating a fire district levy adjustment that came up short in last week’s Stevens County primary election.
When 95 absentee ballots from Chewelah were counted, incumbent Mayor Gloria Davidson’s last-place share of the votes remained virtually unchanged. Ron McCoy moved up to a dead heat with front-runner Lew Arnold.
Arnold, a columnist for the Chewelah Independent newspaper, now has only a six-vote lead over Safeway checker McCoy as they head for the Nov. 4 general election.
There is little chance that additional absentee ballots can erase McCoy’s 39-vote lead over Davidson before the election is certified on Friday.
So far the tally is: Arnold, 206 votes, 36.3 percent; McCoy, 200, 35.3 percent; Davidson, 161, 28.4.
A two-year, $100,000-a-year operating levy in the Loon Lake School District failed despite 63.9 percent support. The measure needed 199 affirmative votes to pass, but received only 186.
Special levies need a 60 percent majority and, like other financial measures, a minimum turnout equal to 40 percent of that in the last general election.
Without the prescribed turnout, money measures may still pass if they get the number of yes votes they would have needed if the minimum turnout had been achieved.
Stevens County Fire District 5 needed only a simple majority to increase its permanent tax levy from 82 cents to $1 per $1,000 of assessed value, but fell short of minimum turnout on election night.
The district, which serves the area between Addy and Arden, never did achieve the minimum turnout. But it needed only 178 yes votes and had 222 after absentee ballots were counted. The tally is now 222-94, a 70.3 percent approval rate.