Centralia’s two-year replacement levy looks closer to passing after Wednesday ballot counts tilted the measure to 50.62% approval.
The levy is leading by 69 votes — a larger margin than it was losing by on election night when it was behind by 23 votes — and it will need to keep a 50% majority plus one vote in order to pass.
According to the Lewis County Auditor’s Office, the next updated count of any remaining ballots will be May 6, a day before the election is certified
So far, 2,805 ballots have come back in favor of the levy and 2,736 against it. A total of 5,541 ballots have been tallied so far.
In Lewis County, there have been 2,770 votes in favor of the levy and 2,664 opposed. In Thurston County, 35 voters have approved the measure and 72 have opposed it, according Wednesday’s updated tally.
If passed, the district will collect $1.50 per $1,000 assessed value starting in 2022. In total, the school district will collect $9.1 million over the 2022 and 2023 collection years.
If passed, the local replacement levy will fund services such as support staff, counselors, athletics, technology, special education and other programs.
The district’s previous levy expired in December 2020, and shortfalls reported the summer prior resulted in 90 school employees being laid off.
Voters have twice within the past 14 months voted down attempts by the school district to replace its levy.
In February 2020, voters denied a levy rate of $2.50 per $1,000 in assessed value with a 69% no vote. Then, in August, voters rejected another measure, this time for $2.00 per $1,000 assessed with 50.38% of voters against it.
The Centralia School Board held a meeting Wednesday night, and the preliminary election results were on the agenda for discussion.
The story will be updated.