A $500 million school bond measure in Tacoma was winning with nearly 70 percent of the vote in initial returns tonight, while a $279.6 million measure in Puyallup was falling short with 54.5 percent yes.
Each measure needs a 60-percent supermajority to pass.
Tacoma’s bond was in a secure position with 69.63 percent yes votes (24,013 of the 34,486 ballots counted) in updated results posted at 9:20 p.m. Additional counting is scheduled for Wednesday.
Tacoma’s bond would rebuild or remodel 14 schools, plus make safety and security upgrades at most other campuses. Puyallup’s measure would add capacity at three high schools, build a new elementary school and replace or expand three others.
Both school districts were on their way to clearing an important hurdle before any ballot envelopes were opened tonight: the required minimum number of votes to validate the election.
The auditor’s website reported this afternoon that 23,914 ballots had been returned by voters in the Puyallup School District. Assuming most of those ballots don’t have problems, that means the district has passed the threshold of 22,588 votes needed to validate.
Tacoma’s bond measure, with 34,888 ballots returned, is approaching validation, according to the newest auditor’s report. It needs 35,773 ballots returned, and it should reach that threshold with more ballots to arrive this week from voters who mailed them Tuesday.