Selah and Toppenish Levies Successful on Tuesday
Tuesday was election day in the Toppenish and Selah School Districts and voters gave a thumbs up to two measures on the ballot. Officials in Selah are especially happy because the Selah levy failed in February elections. The Selah and Toppenish levies needed only a simple majority to pass. In Selah the levy is passing with 53.7%. In Toppenish 58% of voters are supporting the levy. The Yakima County Auditors Office will continue to count ballots every afternoon until the election is certified and all the counting is finished on May 7. The measures supported by voters replace levies that expire at the end of the year. In Selah the levy funds a variety of things like a school nurse and all sports in the district as well as safety and technology services and help for teachers. The Toppenish levy pays for improvements in preschool, safety and technology and robotic programs. The levy also helps to fund field trips and simple maintenance in the district. Yakima County Auditor Charles Ross says traditionally levy elections get a good turnout and on election day Tuesday 28% of voters had voted and turned in ballots. More arrived on election day and more ballots will trickle into the office for the remainder of the week. The votes will continue to be counted until May 7.
Ross says his office is always working to try to improve voter participation in local elections. He says it's been a big challenge for auditors around the state to try and get more people to vote a ballot. Many people receive ballots but many are never voted. It's something auditors have been battling against for years.