K-12 Education
9:45 am
Mon February 28, 2011

Parent launches Snoqualmie school bond recount

If you’ve ever wondered if one vote really makes a difference, consider a school bond measure in Snoqualmie. The proposal to build a new middle school in the rapidly-growing city was recently defeated by a single ballot. That doesn’t mean it’s dead. A parent decided the vote was too close to concede.

A majority of Snoqualmie residents supported the new school, almost 60-percent. Trouble is, when it comes to King County elections, almost doesn’t cut it.  

The final tally was actually 59.99-percent in favor of the bond, just shy of the supermajority needed to pass it.  Sean Sundwall, a parent in Snoqualmie, says the margin is so slim it could be a mistake. And there’s only one way to find out for sure - a recount.

“It’s just so close.  I mean, I feel like there’s a mandate to recount it with just one vote separating it.  So, I just feel like it’s my duty as a taxpayer and resident and parent to my kids and other kids in the district to just make sure we got it right.”

He says part of the reason it’s so critical is that the only other middle schools in Snoqualmie Valley are at least a half-hour bus ride away for most of the city’s kids. For Sundwall’s two youngest children, it could be twice that.

“That makes them more tired, they have to get up earlier.  And for a kid, that makes learning that much less exciting. So, I think it definitely impacts directly their education.”

Facing a three-day deadline and roughly $2500 dollar deposit to initiate a recount with King County Elections, he rallied supporters on Facebook. Within 9 hours, he had the funds.

Elections officials estimate the results could be in this week. Regardless of the outcome, Sundwall says he hopes it reminds voters of the importance of every single voice.