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Hall vote stands

PRINCETON — Thursday’s discovery recount of the April 9 election votes on the Hall High School referendum does not change the results of the final outcome, that the Hall High School District will get a new high school.

On Friday, Bureau County Clerk Kami Hieronymus said the discovery recount was requested by Mary Alice Mueller who had filed a petition in her office with eight signatures asking for the recount of the referendum votes. By statute, only five signatures were required for the discovery recount.

The April 9 election referendum asked voters to approve a bond issue to build a $32 million high school building. The unofficial results from the April 9 election showed the referendum passed by just three votes. 1,714 to 1,711. On April 24, after absentee ballots were received and counted, the final official election results showed the Hall referendum still passed by three votes, with 1,717 yes votes and 1,714 no votes.

On Friday, Hieronymus said state statute allows for a review of one-fourth of the precinct ballots, which was four precincts in the case of the Hall High School District. Thursday’s recount was done on Hall Precincts 1, 2, 3 and 6. Absentee and early ballots for those precincts were also recounted. The cost of the recount was $10 per precinct, paid by the petitioner.

Hieronymus said she had conflicting results from Thursday’s recount, but the recount would not have changed the official election results one way or the other. The official final count shows the Hall High School referendum was approved by three votes, regardless of what may have been found on Thursday’s recount.

Both sides of the issue were represented at Thursday’s recount, Hieronymus said.

From here, the objectors could choose to file a petition in circuit court asking to have the April referendum count overturned or declared invalid, among other options. However, any petition must be filed in court by the end of the month, Hieronymus said.

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