Replacement levies for schools in Walla Walla, Touchet, and Dixie all passed voter muster Tuesday with margins well over the 50-percent simple majority required for their approval.
Dayton, Prescott and Waitsburg levies also sailed through, but a construction bond measure for Waitsburg schools was falling shy of the required 60-percent supermajority.
The largest vote in terms of ballots and dollars for Walla Walla and Columbia counties was the Walla Walla School District four-year replacement levy worth a total $46,301,760.
On Tuesday evening, the Walla Walla vote was 66.18 percent yes, 33.82 percent no among the 7,817 district ballots counted.
“This is a large (approval) number and an exciting number — 66 percent,” Walla Walla School District Superintendent Bill Jordan said, only minutes after receiving voter results at the Walla Walla County Elections Office.
The district’s approval percentage was higher than the previous levy vote in February 2012, which received 64.33 percent approval.
“I think this is a good indication that we are on the right track, we are making good decisions and being good stewards and school leaders,” Jordan added.
The Dixie School District, which operates a single, K-5 elementary and preschool, got the most support with an approval rating just over 73 percent for its replacement levy.
“You don’t see that high a vote very often,” Dixie School District Superintendent Kevin Graffis said. “What it does is again show our high level of support.”
A total 179 Dixie School District ballots were counted Tuesday night for the two-year levy worth a total $461,460, with 73.18 percent voting yes and 26.82 percent voting no.
Touchet School District saw a drop in its approval percentage when compared to the previous 2013 levy vote, which had 70.47 percent voter approval.
Superintendent Susan Bell noted, however, that Tuesday night’s 63 percent approval was still a strong show of support.
“We met with some of our voters this morning and they expressed they are proud of our Touchet School and community,” Bell saidthis morning. “Passing any levy is a team effort. And we will continue to be proud of our Touchet schools and traditions.”
The three-year replacement levy — worth a total $2,064,093 to the district — passed with 63.31 percent voting yes and 36.69 percent voting no among the 278 district ballots counted.
Walla Walla County voter turnout for Tuesday’s county was about average for a February election at 39.6 percent, according to County Auditor Karen Martin.
Ballots were mailed out to 22,420 county voters with 8,878 votes counted on Tuesday.
The next ballot count will take place Friday afternoon, though approval results are not expected to change.