Marysville vote upheld

EVERETT – A hand recount Thursday gave backers and opponents of a Marysville School District levy something in common: confidence in the result.

The recount of the maintenance and operation levy, which represents about 19 percent of the district’s budget, showed it passed by 23 votes, one less than before the recount.

The levy finished with a 60.18 percent “yes” vote; it needed a 60 percent supermajority to pass.

“Regardless of how you voted, I think people in general will have a better sense of confidence in the system,” said Greg Aff, a Marysville resident who opposed the levy and observed the recount.

Aff and others requested the partial recount in precincts where ballots were duplicated by elections staff. In all, Snohomish County elections officials had to duplicate 284 ballots because they were either damaged or voters had failed to complete the arrow on the ballot but their intent was clear.

More than half the duplicate ballots were damaged in a mail-opening machine, but the voter’s intent was apparent, said Snohomish County Auditor Bob Terwilliger.

The hand count included 7,184 of the 13,132 ballots cast.

A recount was not requested for a $118 million bond measure that passed by eight votes.

Members of the levy and bond committee were confident the recount would not change the outcome, but they still were relieved afterward.

Dean Ledford, a volunteer with grandchildren attending Marysville schools, said he didn’t mind spending the morning watching the recount.

“If it’s what it’s going to take to get the confidence built back up, I will dedicate more time to it,” he said.

Corinne Diteman, another levy committee member, has two children in Marysville schools. She was pleased the levy and bond measures passed, but said people should be aware that the district has other pressing school construction projects that will need to be addressed in coming years.

“I hope this is a turning point, making the bond a replacement and the levy like a magazine subscription that is renewed,” Diteman said.

“I’m satisfied with the results,” said Ron Young, a former school board member who opposed the levy and who observed the recount. “There is no question at all they did a good job duplicating the ballots.”

Young was not among the five district residents who officially filed for the recount, but he supported the request and assisted in its organization.

Young said he hopes more people pay closer attention to how students perform in the Marysville district, compared to those across the state and the nation, and make sure schools are held accountable.

Unlike tight races between candidates, there is no automatic recount for levy and bond measures. Those who requested the recount will have to pay for it. At 25 cents a ballot, it will cost about $1,800.

Reporter Eric Stevick: 425-339-3446 or

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