Ballot measures in 3 school districts are now passing

With votes still trickling in, levies in Lake Stevens, Marysville and Snohomish surpass 50 percent.

EVERETT — What a difference a day makes.

On Wednesday leaders from three Snohomish County school districts were making plans to rerun failing levy proposals.

By Thursday evening, they had reason to celebrate, albeit cautiously.

Ballot measures in Lake Stevens, Marysville and Snohomish are now passing.

All three nudged above the simple majority needed to pass after the latest ballot count Thursday afternoon.

“It has been nerve-wracking” three days, said Emily Wicks, a spokeswoman for the Marysville School District. “We knew we were within striking distance.”

The “yes” vote in Marysville rose from 48.6 percent on Tuesday to 51.1 percent Thursday.

In Lake Stevens, the margin went from 49.3 percent on election night to 50.4 percent Thursday.

“We were thrilled to see the results,” said Jayme Taylor, a Lake Stevens schools spokeswoman. “We’re hoping that the trend continues.”

She believes there are about 500 votes in the district left to be counted

“We haven’t been in a situation like this for a long time, so there was a lot of anxiety,” Taylor said.

Snohomish has the most fragile lead at 50.15 percent. The levy in Darrington is the only one left that is failing.

Historically, late-arriving ballots on school levy proposals trend toward “yes” votes.

Before ballot counting began, school district leaders expressed worry of the potential for levy failures after lawmakers cranked up the property tax rate in the 2017 session, then declared schools fully funded.

The programs and operations levies are now called enrichment levies following changes to state law on school funding. Basic education is now meant to be covered by state dollars. School officials say the state’s definition of basic education does not include everything they consider important for their communities.

Rikki King contributed to this story.

Eric Stevick: 425-339-3446; stevick@heraldnet.com.

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