Fact: During our most recent board election, PWSD staff learned, for the first time, that in 2004 the Douglas County Assessor had not added 62 addresses to the district’s boundaries due to confusion over the legal description of these properties (which was provided to PWSD by the owner of these properties in 2004). As a consequence of that oversight, there were 96 voters living at those addresses who were not included in the list of voters PWSD received from the Douglas County Clerk’s office, and therefore did not receive ballots in the mail. This was an unintentional mistake that we are in the process of remedying with the county.
As soon as PWSD staff were made aware of the issue and received the list of impacted voters on the morning of the election, staff contacted the affected voters directly via email and automated phone messages to alert them about their opportunity to vote in the election. Of the impacted voters, six (6) individuals did vote in the election. Therefore, the turnout rate for these 96 properties was 6.3%. For context, PWSD sent out 37,683 ballots and had 3,091 returned ballots for an overall turnout rate of 8.2%.
Despite this unintentional error, the election was conducted fairly. PWSD had no authority to continue the election beyond the close of voting on May 2 at 7:00 p.m. PWSD did everything it reasonably could do to alert the impacted voters and provide them an opportunity to vote, given the circumstances.