Recount possible in north-central Minn. school dist.by Tom Weber, Minnesota Public Radio
St. Paul, Minn. — There could be a recount in a referendum held this week in a small school district in north-central Minnesota.
The Menahga School District asked voters on Tuesday to raise property taxes to fund $4.3 million in construction to make room for its growing enrollment.
The measure failed by just three votes out of nearly 1,400 cast. The final tally was 695-692; it's the third time in the past year voters in Menahga have rejected a school referendum.
That small margin would automatically trigger recounts in other races, but not with school referenda. In fact, not even school leaders can request one -- only voters can.
At least 25 voters have to sign a petition, requesting a recount. Menahga Superintendent Mary Klamm said she thinks such an effort is underway.
"We received several calls of people saying 'can we do a recount?'" Klamm said. "That's when we inform them that if a petition happens, it has to come from the voters."
The school district would have to pay for the recount, if it happens.
It was a light day Tuesday for school-related referenda; just six school districts across Minnesota had ballot questions, asking voters to approve construction projects that in most cases raised property taxes.
Menahga was the only place where voters rejected the measure.
Voters in the Blackduck, Kelliher, Cromwell-Wright, Randolph and Roseau school districts all approved their ballot questions.
The largest was in Randolph, where the district will now spend more than $3 million on improvements and building additions.